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Opportunity for Civic Engagement: Congress Tax Reform

Dear Members of the Saint Louis University Community,


Your help is needed.


The future of higher education is threatened by the U.S. House and Senate tax reform bills. We are a community with members from every state, and together we must raise our collective voice in opposition to these dramatic changes that will negatively impact access to and support of higher education.


It is possible a vote could take place as early as this week and likely before Congress adjourns for the year. If passed in both houses, the bill would then go to the president for his signature.


In their current form, the legislation will:


  • Tax the stipends and tuition remission benefits for graduate students;
  • Tax tuition remission benefits for employees, spouses, and their dependents;
  • Discontinue the tax deduction for interest paid on student loans, which will impact many of our alumni;
  • Create an excise tax on the endowments of some colleges and universities;
  • Eliminate ability to issue tax-free bonds by private educational institutions for renovation and construction projects.

I understand it is a busy time of year, but I ask you to call, email, or tweet your elected representatives in Congress and urge them to remove these provisions. I will do so with you. To find contact information for your Congressional representatives, visit the House and Senate pages.


Our elected representatives need to hear that the educational and societal impact our country’s non-profit colleges and universities provide is essential. The harmful provisions must be removed. They will be detrimental to our students, faculty, staff, alumni, our ability to provide financial aid, and our ability to invest in the future of SLU.




Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.