The House Passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

November 17, 2017

Dear members of the Vassar Community,
Yesterday, the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the Senate is reviewing its own version. While many of you have likely read about the controversial aspects of this legislation, I wanted to make clear we believe the Act will make college more costly and less accessible. I would urge you to learn as much as you can about this Act, and contact your elected leaders in the House and Senate and let them know it will do immeasurable damage to higher education if it is passed.

The proposed Act would:

  • Eliminate the tax deductibility of student loan interest.
  • Impose a tax on employer-funded tuition reimbursement for employees.
  • Eliminate the Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • Reduce the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
  • Make the pursuit of graduate and advanced degrees decidedly more expensive.
  • Impose a new excise tax on approximately 70 private college endowments—including Vassar’s—which will hamper the endowment’s ability to support the operations and mission of the College.
  • Measurably increase the cost and limit the access that colleges and universities have to capital markets, which is how many institutions make necessary campus renovations and important enhancements to serve their students.

While new iterations of this legislation will undoubtedly appear, we need to be aware that our federal lawmakers have made it clear they want to enact this tax legislation by the end of the year. If they are successful, the very real negative impact of this new legislation will be felt swiftly and broadly. I hope you will join me in urging our elected officials not to support it.

President Bradley

Poughkeepsie, NY 12604