A primer on higher education tax policies, this study reviews past, current, and proposed policies, and discusses who benefits from these policies. The report reviews similar information about need-based grant aid. Examination of data and analyses from the U.S. Treasury and Education Departments and other sources reveals that while general tax deductions and other uses of the tax code have been more beneficial to taxpayers with higher incomes, current use of tax-based assistance for higher education is modest. The report further suggests that while tax incentives are an important vehicle for increasing affordability for those who already have access to college, a balanced approach is necessary to promote both access and affordability for a broader range of Americans, including those with the greatest need.
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Taxing Matters: College Aid, Tax Policy, and Equal Opportunity
Published: February 1997