The Potential Impact of Tax Reform on School Psychology Graduate Students

Congress is considering legislation that would overhaul the US Tax Code. The US House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 1 The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the Senate passed their version last week.  Congress is in the process of reconciling the differences between their two bills, and every proposal contained in each bill is on the table for inclusion in a final package. As things there are a number of proposals that would directly impact current and future school psychology graduate students and graduate educators (for a comparison of the House and Senate Proposals, see this chart from the American Council on Education).

This legislation could discourage potential school psychology applicants from applying to graduate school, make it more expensive for those who are currently enrolled as well as those who do choose to enroll, could hinder efforts to recruit diverse students from low income backgrounds, and could further exacerbate the shortages of school psychologists and other professions for which a graduate education is necessary.

The following proposals remain on the table. Please contact your Senators and your Representatives to urge them to reject the passage of legislation that would harm graduate students and our higher education system. (Use the NASP Advocacy Action Center)  Listed below are specific examples:

  • H.R. 1 would consider the value of tuition waivers taxable in the same way that regular income is taxed. Currently tuition waivers, which are often granted in exchange for teaching or research responsibilities, are not considered taxable.
  • H.R. 1 would consider any tuition waivers or benefits that university employees receive for their children to be taxable income.
  • H.R. 1 eliminates the student loan interest deduction which has allowed graduates to deduct the amount of interest they have paid on student loans
  • H.R. 1 repeals the Lifetime Learning Credit, which provides a tax credit based on the first $10,000 in postsecondary education expenses. 

For more information on these and other tax proposals, visit   For a specific example of how this bill may impact graduate students, visit  

Questions can be directed to Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach,PhD, NASP Director, Government Relations ( or Katie Eklund, NASP GPR Chair (  

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