In the last several weeks, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have passed tax bills that, if enacted into law, would have negative consequences for college students and their families. While some momentum seems to be gaining regarding certain provisions of the bill in response to input provided to legislators, it is clear that increased pressure on lawmakers is required to ensure that higher education is not negatively impacted.
Like many committed to private higher education, I believe that numerous parts of this proposed legislation will result in increased costs as well as reduced access to higher education for talented and deserving students. The potential implications faced by those students who are already at most risk of not being able to attain a degree, like the many we serve at Bay Path, would be most dire.
Lawmakers need to hear from constituents who care about accessible higher education, and I respectfully encourage you to phone or email members of Congress (for contact information, see House and Senate Directories) in the next few days and urge them to ensure that the final bill, now under consideration by a conference committee, includes the following provisions:
· Continues allowing deduction of interest paid on student loans;
· Keeps current tax-free educational benefits for employees, their spouses and children, and graduate students;
· Retains issuance of tax-free bonds by private educational institutions for renovation and construction projects;
· Rejects imposing excise taxes on the endowments of private colleges and universities.
If the bill goes into law as currently proposed, our country will suffer. An educated citizenry is fundamental to our communities, our society, and our place in the world. At a time when our nation needs more educated individuals than perhaps ever before in our history, this legislation threatens to weaken our foundation. Please join me in advocating for students and their families by contacting legislators and stating your opposition to the bill.
Thank you for your support.