Americans Split Over Whether College Endowments Should Be Taxed


Americans Split Over Whether School Funds Should Be TaxedAmericans Split Over Whether School Funds Should Be Taxed
BOSTON, MA – MAY 21: A graduate crosses the red carpet during the Boston College commencement at Alumni Stadium in Boston on May 21, 2018. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Americans are divided over whether U.S. college endowments should have to pay a new federal tax, according to a national survey on higher education.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Fifty percent of respondents sided with the wealthy private schools while 43 percent agreed the tax should be levied, and 7 percent were unsure, according to data published Monday by Boston public media producer WGBH News, which surveyed about 1,000 adults ages 18 to 65.” data-reactid=”23″>Fifty percent of respondents sided with the wealthy private schools while 43 percent agreed the tax should be levied, and 7 percent were unsure, according to data published Monday by Boston public media producer WGBH News, which surveyed about 1,000 adults ages 18 to 65.

As the price of college has increased more than inflation over decades, and student debt has surpassed $1.5 trillion, Americans have questioned the value of higher education. Yet more than two-thirds in the poll said they believe colleges and universities have a positive impact on society.

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“We decided it was critically important to our audience to take the country’s pulse on some fundamental questions about higher education, including whether or not Americans still value a college degree,’’ said Ken Cooper, who oversaw the project for WGBH News.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The tax bill passed last December added a new levy on college endowments, which schools are actively working to repeal .” data-reactid=”27″>The tax bill passed last December added a new levy on college endowments, which schools are actively working to repeal .

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The 1.4 percent tax on net investment gains of private university endowments worth more than $500,000 per student affects about 30 schools. The biggest share of schools are in Massachusetts, about 20 percent, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Amherst College.” data-reactid=”28″>The 1.4 percent tax on net investment gains of private university endowments worth more than $500,000 per student affects about 30 schools. The biggest share of schools are in Massachusetts, about 20 percent, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Amherst College.

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Fifty-four percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 believe endowments should be taxed while the majority of those over 30 think endowments should be tax-free.

The poll also found that a majority of respondents support a racially and ethnically diverse student body yet overwhelmingly oppose the use of race as a factor in college admissions.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The poll was conducted Aug. 21 to 25 by Abt Associates , which provides research and consulting services in areas including education, health, environment and social policy. Clients range from U.S. federal government agencies to universities, some of which would pay the tax.” data-reactid=”32″>The poll was conducted Aug. 21 to 25 by Abt Associates , which provides research and consulting services in areas including education, health, environment and social policy. Clients range from U.S. federal government agencies to universities, some of which would pay the tax.

More from Bloomberg.com

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read Americans Split Over Whether College Endowments Should Be Taxed on bloomberg.com” data-reactid=”38″>Read Americans Split Over Whether College Endowments Should Be Taxed on bloomberg.com

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