Tax- cut plan in Congress would drive up college costs
Most college students struggle to pay for higher education, and their costs would go up even further under the tax plan recently proposed by Republicans in Congress. The cuts would hit different categories of students in different ways.
First, the proposal would reduce the tax credits students can claim on their income- tax returns for educational expenses. For example, it allows students to take a full tax credit only for their first four years, and at a reduced level for the fifth, before it ends. This move will especially hurt graduate students, who have already completed and paid for ( or contracted to pay for) four years, and older and non- traditional students, who typically attend college on and off and may have exhausted their four years.
The second way in which the proposed tax cuts harm students is by eliminating the income- tax deduction for interest paid on student loans. Many students graduate, get jobs and shoulder the task of paying back their loans. Deducting interest helps them save money for a home, a family or other pursuits that contribute to the common good. Why would we want to hinder them as they are achieving their dreams?
tional Third, Louis most University universities, included, Narely on generous donors to fund scholarships and bridge the many costs tuition dollars do not cover. The proposed tax plan has a chilling effect on donors. It doubles the standard income tax deduction and reduces the number of Americans who will itemize their deductions from 30 percent to about 5 percent, according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Without those itemized deductions, donors have less incentive to give, and the National Council of Nonprofits estimates giving could fall by $ 13 billion annually. That will really impact the funding of universities like ours. We urge Congress to revise this tax proposal and restore provisions that benefit higher education. It would be an investment in America’s human capital, which would grow our economy in years to come. Marty Mickey, vice president, finance, National Louis University
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