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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

3 Ways to Weigh In and Engage Stakeholders on Higher Education Tax Reform Issues

December 8, 2017

In the wake of the introduction of tax reform legislation with provisions that broadly impact students, families, and institutions of higher education, both NACUBO and the American Council on Education (ACE) have launched tools you can deploy with your networks to engage them and help them contact lawmakers.

Business officers are uniquely positioned to mobilize voices on campus. As trusted advisors to presidents and chancellors, business officers can make the case to work together with alumni, development, and public affairs staff to reach interested constituents and ask them to act. As lawmakers deliberate the tax bill, hearing from many voters about changes that would adversely impact current and future students can make a difference. 

Here are three easy ways to get involved:

1. Text COLLEGE to 52886.

This portal created by NACUBO makes it easy to contact members of Congress via email or social media. Simply share this message with your advocacy networks to connect them to the portal: 

“Tell Congress: Don’t Make College More Expensive. Get started by texting COLLEGE to 52886. #DontTaxEducation Or, click here.”

This campaign is focused on asking supporters to accept the Senate position and reject the House plans to:

  • Tax employer-provided tuition benefits by eliminating Sections 117(d) and 127;
  • Tax tuition benefits for graduate student teaching and research;
  • Eliminate the Student Loan Interest Deduction; and
  • Eliminate the Lifetime Learning Credit.

2. Text ACTNOW to 52886.

NACUBO also created a portal to advocate for the entire nonprofit sector. Simply share this message: 

“Join the movement to #protectgiving and ask lawmakers to fix the provisions that create new taxes that will raise operating costs or badly hurt the ability of nonprofits—including colleges and universities—to educate, heal, nourish, and serve our nation. You can also get involved here.”

This campaign is focused on bringing attention to the elimination of the charitable deduction for more than 31 million taxpayers and highlighting the provisions that create new taxes for nonprofit entities in legislation that was meant to simplify the tax code and cut taxes.

3. Use ACE’s “Contact Congress” tool.

NACUBO encourages institutions to use the resources made available by ACE and developed in coordination with NACUBO and a number of other national higher education associations. There are five different letters you can share with your networks. They are focused on:

Charitable Giving


Students and Families

Campus Employees

Higher Education Finance

Interested in learning more about advocacy? Explore the National Council of Nonprofits' resources and hear about stakeholder engagement at Rutgers University in this on-demand NACUBO webcast featuring Francine Newsome Pfeiffer, Rutgers' vice president for federal relations.


Liz Clark
Senior Director, Federal Affairs