Press Release

WASHINGTON (October 31, 2013) – Yesterday, Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and Danny Davis (D-IL) introduced the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act. The Act simplifies and better targets higher education tax benefits, making it easier for students and families to afford college.

Tax-based student aid has grown rapidly in recent years and now tops $34 billion annually— – more than we invest in Pell Grants – —making it imperative for Congress to take steps in tax reform to maximize this aid’s impact on college access and completion.

Rory O’’Sullivan, Policy Director at Young Invincibles, a member of the Consortium for Higher Education Tax Reform, released the following statement:

“We applaud Reps. Davis and Black for introducing this important piece of legislation. The Student and Family Tax Simplification Act provides families relief from an unnecessarily complex and inefficient system. Currently, students and parents must wade through a maze of credits and deductions to figure out how they can benefit from education tax credits. This bill is a good first step in the right direction toward simplicity and affordability and streamlines more than 15 provisions and five tax credits, making it easier for parents and students to navigate.”

The Act focuses tax-based aid on the hard-working low- and middle-income students who struggle most to afford college. Nearly one million Pell Grant recipients—primarily community college students–who currently receive no benefit from the American Opportunity Tax Credit could claim the credit for the first time.


The Consortium for Reform of Higher Education Tax Benefits includes four organizations concerned with college access, affordability, and completion for low- and middle-income individuals: the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success at CLASP, the New America Foundation’s Education Policy Program, Young Invincibles, and The Education Trust.