Colleges are fighting a new endowment tax. This one Kentucky school got a pass

Personal Finance

Steven Bloom, director of governmental relations for the American Council on Education, said the endowment tax will do nothing but harm.

“It just takes away money from schools that will be hit and sends the money to Washington,” Bloom said. “Those dollars could be used for things like financial aid.”

One of the schools that will be taxed is Cooper Union in New York City. For decades, the school admitted students for free. Today, it covers around 75 percent of students’ tuition but had hoped to return to an entirely free institution one day.

“The new tax reform plan has the potential to make that return to free tuition much more difficult,” said Laura Sparks, the school’s president.

Elizabeth Clark, senior director of federal affairs at The National Association of College and University Business Officers, doesn’t see why one school should be exempted from the levy.

“Berea College has a very unique and laudable mission, but other colleges that will be impacted by the endowment tax have laudable missions as well,” Clark said.

That the Republicans’ legislation reflects their preferences, Roelofs said, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“They won the election,” he said.

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