College of Education

About Us Admissions & Academics Research & Engagement Departments & Faculty Current Students

Does tax reform bill spell trouble for higher education?

by Sharita Forrest / Nov 28, 2017

Associate Professor Jennifer Delaney

The tax reform bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, now under review in the Senate, proposes sweeping changes to federal tax regulations, several of which have implications for higher education. Finance expert Jennifer Delaney of the College of Education spoke with News Bureau education editor Sharita Forrest about the possible ramifications for college students and their families.

In the interview, Delaney said imposing taxes on tuition waivers that graduate students receive in exchange for working as teachers or research assistants is a bad deal for students.

“These waivers significantly reduce college costs for these students,” said Delaney, an associate professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership. “Beyond the tuition waivers, many of these students earn low wages and may not receive enough income to pay the taxes that will be imposed.”

Delaney went on to say that there will be significant repercussions for higher education if all of the proposed changes become law.

“These changes are going to negatively impact students and make college more expensive overall. These tax reforms will negatively affect colleges and universities in other ways by limiting some of the things they can do in terms of receiving charitable gifts,” she said.