Craig education briefs for Dec. 27, 2014: Craig Rotary Club announces Student of the Month | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig education briefs for Dec. 27, 2014: Craig Rotary Club announces Student of the Month

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

— Moffat County High School junior Allie Dilldine was honored as the Rotary Club of Craig’s Student of the Month for December.

A three-sport athlete who competes in cross country, swimming and track, Dildine also is involved in Key Club, Student Council, National Honor Society and Young Life. She carries a 4.032 GPA while taking college-level coursework.

Rotary recognized Dilldine for her work ethic in her athletic pursuits and academics.

Moffat County Library Winter Reading Program is underway

Moffat County Library's Winter Reading Program offers incentives to readers of all ages to curl up with a few good books this winter. The theme is "Reading Is Snow Much Fun!"

For every 25 pages read, readers fill in a penguin on their reading log. There are 10 penguins to the first level — which, upon completion, entitles participants to a free book of their choice. Another 10 penguins earns participants the prize of their choice out of the library's display case, including toys, kids meal gift certificates to Village Inn and Subway and water bottles.

The free program runs through Feb. 16. To sign up, visit the library to pick up a reading log or sign up and print out a log at http://www.moffat.lib.co.us.

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College tax credits available for 2014 tax year

Two college tax credits and several other education-related tax benefits are available to qualifying students and their parents when they file 2014 federal income tax returns, according to a news release from the Internal Revenue Service. The American opportunity tax credit provides an annual credit of as much as $2,500 for each eligible student for as many as four tax years.

Alternatively, the lifetime learning credit provides a credit of 20 percent of the amount spent on eligible expenses across all students on the return, for a maximum $2,000 credit per tax return.

Although a taxpayer often qualifies for both of these credits, he or she can claim only one of them for a particular student in a particular year. These credits can be claimed on Form 8863.

Most students will receive a Form 1098-T from their institution by the end of January with information about tuition paid or billed for the prior tax year. However, amounts shown on this form may differ from amounts taxpayers are eligible to claim for these tax credits. Taxpayers should see the instructions on Form 8863 and Publication 970 for details on properly figuring allowable tax benefits.

For those eligible, including most undergraduate students, the American opportunity tax credit generally will yield the greater tax savings. Alternatively, the lifetime learning credit should be considered by part-time students and those attending graduate school.

Income limits and other restrictions apply.

You can use the IRS' Interactive Tax Assistant tool to help determine if you are eligible for these benefits. The tool is available on http://www.irs.gov. Details also can be found in the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center on http://www.irs.gov.

Other education-related tax benefits include zero taxes on scholarships and fellowship grants when funds are used to pay for tuition and fees, student loan interest deductions of as much as $2,500 per year, zero taxes on savings bonds used to pay for college within certain income limits and qualified tuition programs — also called 529 plans — used to prepay or save for a child's college education.

Community college transfer students should apply now for four-year schools

Students who plan to transfer from a community college to a four-year college are reminded to apply now for fall admission in order to receive the same housing and financial aid opportunities as traditional students.

For students who want to start in fall 2015, the priority deadline to apply was Dec. 1. However, plenty of opportunities still are available.

Colorado has a guaranteed transfer program. To help students avoid taking unnecessary courses and earn a degree in as little time as possible, Colorado has developed a general education curriculum that forms the core of most bachelor's degrees and is guaranteed to transfer between all public colleges and universities in the state.

For institutional transfer guides, visit http://highered.colorado.gov/academics/transfers/guides/default.html.

Students encouraged to apply for BBB/Rotary Ethics Scholarship

Junior and senior high school students in northern Colorado and Wyoming are encouraged to apply for a $5,000 BBB/Rotary Ethics Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually by the Better Business Bureau Center for Character Ethics serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming and Rotary Clubs in Districts 5440, 5450 and 5470.

All interested students are encouraged to apply. One student will be selected from each district by the local Rotary Club. Applications must be submitted online by Feb. 2 using the following link: http://www.bbb.org/wyoming-and-northern-colorado/news-events/news-releases/2014/10/bbbrotary-ethics-scholarship-accessible-online.

For more information, call Renee Campbell at 970-875-1788.

Free or reduced price meals and school fees available to qualifying households

Households that qualify for free or reduced meals also may qualify for free or reduced book fees, class fees, sport and athletic fees and driver education fees. Qualification for free or reduced sports and athletic fees must be identified before participation in any sport, and fees will not be waived after the sport or athletic program has begun.

Households whose circumstances change during the school year may apply at any time. However, fees for programs will not be waived prior to the date of approval on the application form.

Call Karma Willbanks in the Food Service Department at 970-824-2160 to request an application.