On Monday, the Senate approved the “2012 College Affordability Plan” (S7449A), which is intended to help parents save for higher education and to provide greater access to low-interest student loans, and to ensure that borrowers have clear information regarding the amount of debt they are taking on. It would also create a new “Stay-In-New York” tax credit that would provide up to $12,000 in tax credits over four years for students who graduate on time or early from a college in New York, perform community service work, and stay and work in New York for at least four years.

Other features of the plan include:

  • increasing the current tuition tax deduction from $10,000 to $20,000;
  • increasing the maximum tuition tax credit from $400 to $800;
  • establish a new $100 million Linked Deposit Student Loan program to make low interest student loans available to middle class families. Loan interest rates could be cut in half;
  • enabling parents to pre-pay current tuition for a SUNY or CUNY school; and
  • designating the state Department of Financial Services to serve as a “truth-in-lending” clearinghouse for reliable information on college loans and interest rates.