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Getting Help for College Costs

Q. My daughter enrolled in an undergraduate program in September. Can I get a tax break to help me pay her college costs?

A. The American Opportunity Tax Credit, available since 2009, gives income-qualifying families a tax break of up to $2,500 per year for undergraduate students. But the break, part of President Obama's stimulus package, is only temporary — the credit expires in 2010. Now the president is calling on Congress to make it permanent and apply to all four years of college expenses.

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

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