During the 2012 tax season, more than 130 students from The University of Alabama traveled statewide to prepare over 3,200 returns for working families — helping them to secure nearly $6 million in tax refunds and saving them approximately $960,000 in commercial tax preparation fees.
UA students provided a critical role in a statewide initiative sponsored by the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and Impact Alabama. UA Students collaborated with 300 additional students from 16 other campuses across the state to assist low-income, working families. In total, SaveFirst assisted more than 5,100 families who claimed $9.2 million in refunds and saved approximately $1.5 million in commercial preparation fees — a 19% increase in families served in the last tax season.More than 60 UA students enrolled in a service-learning course on poverty taught by Stephen Black, Director of the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility. This course combined academic coursework with a requirement of service at SaveFirst sites, and enrolled students discussed and reflected on issues such as perceptions and misperceptions of those living in poverty and current policies affecting working families. An additional 40 students participated in an account service-learning course taught by Lisa McKinney.