After nine years, a federal report says that college tuition tax credits aren't necessarily providing the boon for poorer families that legislators originally intended.The report, from the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics, examined two programs enacted in 1997 - the Hope Scholarship, which allows a tax credit of up to $1,500 during a student's first two years in college, and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, which allows a tax credit of up to $2,000 for lower- and middle-income students after the first two years.

The federal credits are saving an average of $700 in taxes for families earning $92,000 or more, and $600 for families earning less than $32,000, the study said.

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