Top Finance Dem offers bill in response to college admissions scandal

Top Finance Dem offers bill in response to college admissions scandal
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenNFL accused of 'systemic racism' in handling Black ex-players' brain injuries Infrastructure deal imperiled by differences on financing GOP governors move to cut unemployment benefits as debate rages over effects MORE (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, introduced legislation Wednesday to curb tax deductions for individuals' donations that are designed to influence the college admissions process.

Wyden first announced the legislation in March — shortly after dozens of people were charged for their roles in a scam in which parents allegedly bribed athletic coaches and college entrance exam administrators in an effort to facilitate their children being admitted to prestigious universities.


“While middle-class families are pinching pennies to pay tuition and graduates are buried under tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, wealthy families are greasing the skids to get their children into elite schools on the backs of those same families and graduates,” Wyden said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s absurd that the tax code subsidizes the top 1% buying their way into school.”

The bill would require colleges that receive federal financial aid to implement policies prohibiting them from considering family members’ donations or ability to donate during the admissions process. The colleges would also be required to report the number of applicants and admitted students whose parents are school donors.

In cases where colleges don’t implement policies banning the consideration of donations during the admissions process, family members would only be able to take charitable tax deductions for a maximum of $100,000 of donations to schools in a six-year period before and during when the child attends the school. The IRS would be able to recapture deductions for donations that exceed $100,000.