Minority-Serving Institutions Anxious Over Tax Bill

"While the Senate Republicans just passed a major tax overhaul on Friday, higher education writ at-large has been wringing its hands for weeks. Especially for colleges and universities with large minority populations, the bill would only pile on more financial obstacles," according to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

"Income tax on graduate student waivers, fewer deductions on student loans and the taxation of endowments are only some of the effects the GOP’s tax bill will have. According to experts, students at historically Black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions are especially vulnerable.

Dr. Rowena Tomaneng, president of Berkeley City College has some concerns about the tax plan.

'In order to pay for the cuts in the Republican tax bill, there are quite a few programs on the chopping block, including some higher education programs,' Dr. Marybeth Gasman, Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, wrote in an email. 'As many in the Republican party, including its leader Donald Trump, don’t value people of color, I worry about Minority Serving Institutions and the funding they deserve.'

According to a report published by the Center for American Progress, an older law called the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go, or PAYGO, Act, in conjunction with the GOP’s tax plan would result in the “complete elimination” of certain funds for HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges, funds intended to help expand institutional capacity and student success. The PAYGO Act requires any legislation that increases the federal deficit to be offset by spending cuts or increases in revenue. According to a report from The New York Times, up to $255 million is at risk for higher education."

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Publication Date: 12/6/2017

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