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Don’t Reform Taxes on the Backs of Students

Vanderbilt's efforts to offer an affordable education to all qualified students are under assault from the federal government, says Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos in this article published in the Opinion section of the Tennessean.

Zeppos notes that more than 70 percent of this year’s freshman class receives $270 million in financial aid from the university. A third of that amount is funded by the university’s endowment.

Both the U.S. House and Senate seek to tax university endowments, a move that would cost Vanderbilt about $7 million a year – the equivalent of 104 full-ride scholarships.

“This is fundamentally bad policy and will undercut financial aid efforts at universities around the country,” Zeppos writes. “America’s higher education system is the envy of the world and a major economic driver – why handcuff it with unnecessary tax regulation?

“This bill is a tax on our students, a tax on families, a tax on our workforce, and a tax on the charitable mission of higher education," he adds. "It will put a stranglehold on the aspirations of future college applicants and stall the future of our country.”

Read the full article.