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ERIC Number: ED564590
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May-28
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Harnessing the Tax Code to Promote College Affordability: Options for Reform
Valenti, Joe; Bergeron, David; Baylor, Elizabeth
Center for American Progress
The United States tax code is full of provisions designed to encourage or reward specific behaviors, such as owning a home or saving for retirement. Tax benefits for higher education are no exception: Contributions to some college savings accounts grow tax-free, college tuition is often tax deductible, and some student-loan borrowers are able to deduct the interest paid on their student loans just as they would the interest paid on their mortgage. These higher education tax provisions have implications for access, affordability, and equity. Higher-income families benefit from tax-free savings toward future college costs through Section 529 college savings plans. The tax code, however, rewards middle-class families for savings less, because tax benefits are much smaller for those in lower tax brackets, and these families largely do not participate. This brief presents a menu of potential ideas for making each stage--before enrollment, during enrollment, and post-enrollment--more effective and equitable in terms of directing tax incentives to those who would benefit most from them.
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress