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How the GOP Tax Plan Could Hurt Private Universities

David Leebron, president of Rice University, said taxing endowments would stymie research and innovation and punish students in this Houston Chronicle article.

"Nearly half of our endowment expenditures go to direct student support," he said. "The rest of our endowment income primarily supports faculty and research. Our endowment also helps keep our annual tuition and costs about $6,000 below most of our peers."

A provision that would tax graduate students on tuition waivers, which are essentially scholarships to support their advanced education, is "equally odious," Leebron said.

"The result will be simply to discourage the very kind of advanced education our country needs to remain competitive and innovative," he said. "Many of the greatest ideas that are now fueling our economy or saving lives through medicine came out of universities.

"The global competition for discovery and innovation is intense, and as we know, it leads to new industries and jobs," Leebron continued. "Taxing higher education, and in particular taxing those extraordinary students who are receiving an advanced education thanks to tuition waivers, will put our nation at a competitive disadvantage and is surely the opposite of making America great."

Read the full article.