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What a Trump Administration Could Mean for Educational Advancement

With the advent of a new administration, here are some issues that CASE will be watching in the coming years:

Charitable Deduction

With Republicans retaining control of Congress, President-elect Trump and GOP congressional leaders will likely make comprehensive tax reform a top priority, says Brian Flahaven, senior director of advocacy for CASE. Trump's tax plan, which was revised during his campaign, calls for significant tax cuts for high-income individuals and would cap itemized deductions, including the charitable deduction, at $100,000 annually for individuals and $200,000 annually for married couples. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has estimated that Trump's tax plan would reduce charitable giving anywhere between 4.5 and 9 percent. CASE strongly supports preserving the full value of the charitable deduction, Flahaven says.


President-elect Trump was highly critical of large college and university endowments on the campaign trail, Flahaven notes. At a campaign event on Oct. 13, Trump said that his administration would push colleges to reduce tuition and would reconsider the tax-exempt status of institutions with large endowments that are not using funds to reduce tuition. Trump's criticisms of endowments align with concerns raised by GOP lawmakers on the U.S. House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee. A comprehensive tax reform package could include proposals affecting endowments, Flahaven says. CASE opposes efforts to legislative endowment payout rates or tax endowments.

Higher Education Act

Lawmakers are expected to pursue the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the law that covers federal student aid and various programs aimed at supporting student access and affordability. Flahaven notes that while not speaking to the HEA directly, Trump did voice support for significantly reducing the regulatory burden of colleges and universities on the campaign trail, arguing that regulations led to "tremendous bloat in college administrators and bureaucrats." Trump also has talked about reducing the burden of student debt, an effort that will likely be tackled as part of HEA reauthorization.

In addition to the issues above, President-elect Trump has said that he plans to significantly reduce the role of the U.S. Department of Education. He is also likely to reconsider and/or repeal the Obama Administration's gainful employment regulations targeting for-profit colleges.

                                                                                                              Updated Nov. 22, 2016

U.S. Legislative and Regulatory Affairs

For further information about CASE's public policy efforts, contact Brian Flahaven, director of legislative, foundation and recognition programs, at or +1-202-478-5617.