- July 6th, 2010
- in News
More than 80 IRS-certified undergraduate, graduate and law students from the University are providing free income tax services and teaching financial literacy to low-income families in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.
Most of the students are enrolled in a UA service learning course that focuses on understanding poverty and requires students to commit to the tax return service.
The initiative is co-sponsored by SaveFirst: A Tax Preparation and Financial Literacy Initiative and the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, both directed by UA faculty member Stephen Black. SaveFirst is an initiative of Impact: An Alabama Student Service Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to service learning by students from several cooperating colleges and universities.
Joining UA in SaveFirst are students from Birmingham-Southern College, Samford University and UAB. Students staffed five community-based sites in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham for five weeks during the tax season, targeting families who qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit.
The project provides alternatives to practices that exploit low-income individuals, like payday loan schemes, check-cashing operations and high-interest lending.
The UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility teaches students to take responsibility for the well-being of the larger community, especially through innovative, curriculum-based service learning