State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) this week introduced legislation to make higher education more accessible and affordable by creating a tuition tax credit for Ohio’s college students.
Ramos’ proposal would provide a tax credit, available for the academic equivalent of the first two years of post-secondary education, of $2,500 per student per year and $5,000 per a student’s lifetime. At one time, in the late 90’s, the state provided a similar framework to reduce the barriers to college for Ohio students and families.
“At a time when jobs can go anywhere in the world and skills and education will determine success, rising costs and decreasing state support mean working people are struggling to be able to send their children to college in Ohio,” said Ramos. “Tax incentives are one tool we can use to open the doors to higher education to more Ohioans. This proposal will expand opportunities for the next generation to succeed and advance in the workplace by making college more affordable.”
According to federal data from the U.S. Department of Education, tuition cost in Ohio exceeds the national average by over $3,000. Though the state established a cap on the cost of tuition and fees, merely capping tuition at peak, high-cost levels does not make it affordable, the Lorain County lawmaker contends.
The legislation is a part of a broader economic agenda recently proposed by Democratic lawmakers. In January, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate announced their “Focus on The Future” agenda, an eight-bill package Democrats say will ensure economic stability for the next generation of working people in Ohio.