Tax Reform Implications for Higher Education

On November 16, 2017 the US House of Representatives passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Nonprofit and Higher Education leaders are reeling from the potential consequences of the bill, but the House website’s description of the bill’s impact on individuals and businesses simply says, “consolidates and repeals several education-related deductions and credits.” In fact, the House bill includes:

  • Changes in itemization for charitable deductions

  • Elimination of Private Activity Bonds, often used to finance construction on campuses

  • Excise tax on private college and university endowments (and only private)

  • Elimination of tuition remission programs for employees

  • Elimination of tuition waivers and scholarships to graduate students

  • Removal of student loan interest deduction

  • Elimination of employer-provided educational assistance benefits

Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee passed its version (modified Nov. 16), which thankfully does not include many of the House proposals, but the proposed Senate bill includes:

We must take action. The final outcome could have serious consequences for higher education. I have contacted my senators using every means possible, and I hope you will too. If you live in Georgia, here is contact information for the Georgia Federal Delegation.

For more information, in addition to the links above to the House and Senate versions of the bill, you may consult the following helpful links: Council on Foundations Action Alert

Charitable Giving Provisions Graduate Student Issues Tax Exempt Bonds

Let’s rise up in support of private colleges and universities, for our faculty and staff, and especially for the students who benefit from our scholarships and programs. Thank you.

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Wesleyan draws a wonderfully eclectic mix of women – about 700 in all – from across the United States and more than twenty countries, bringing to campus a multitude of backgrounds and ethnicities. Wesleyan students choose to study here because they want to test their limits. The bar is set high because our students demand it. First for Women isn’t just a claim to fame - it’s a philosophy that explains why Wesleyan women continue to make history today.


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