The Future of Higher Education, Part 1

As you know, the tax reform bill currently under consideration in Congress has significant negative implications for the future of higher education, including changes to policies on student and family tuition and loan benefits, bond financing and taxes on endowments. American private colleges and universities, including Saint Anselm College, make vital contributions to our nation and our world. We are also doing everything possible to keep costs down to make a college education accessible and affordable.

However, the elimination of many benefits important to our institutions and to the students and families we serve will negatively impact our ability to accomplish both of these important goals. I hope that members of Congress will enact legislation that helps, rather than hinders, us in our mission.

I appeared on New England Cable News this week, speaking with Sue O'Connell. You can watch the interview here »

Dec. 14, New York Times: "Republican Tax Bill Overhauls Rules Many Were Counting On"

In ways large and small, the tax bills moving through Congress could penalize individuals for choices they made based on longstanding law. Left unchanged, the bills could drastically alter the financial situations of millions of Americans who cannot easily undo those decisions. Read full text »

“I have been in higher education for almost 30 years, and I have never seen this kind of approach to education,” said Steven DiSalvo, the president of St. Anselm, adding, “It’s mind-boggling to think that we would want to negatively impact the ability to educate our children by taxing a benefit.”

Dec. 13, Reuters: "Grad students plead for mercy from U.S. tax overhaul"

About 145,000 graduate students could be affected by the new tax on tuition, but the impact would also hit about 25,000 undergraduate students, according to the American Council on Education.  Thousands of children of college employees get free or reduced tuition and the tax change would require families to pay taxes on it in the future. Read full text »

“I just scratch my head and wonder what they are thinking,” said Steven DiSalvo, president of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and the chairman of the student aid committee for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. “The effect on colleges and students would be devastating.”

He noted that many parents choose jobs such as janitors and food service workers at colleges – despite lower pay than in the private sector – so they will be able to send their children to college without tuition. About 51 percent of employees getting the tuition benefit earn less than $50,000 a year, according to the American Council on Education.