Dear faculty, staff and students:

As President Trump prepares to receive new tax reform legislation approved today by Congress, I am grateful for our combined efforts to steer the final bill away from proposals that would have been damaging to our students, our employees and our power as an engine of progress.

The University of Illinois System and our universities were vigorously engaged in recent weeks as legislators drafted changes to the tax code and then worked to reconcile differences in bills approved by the House and Senate.

Thanks to those system-wide efforts and your support, our voices added to many across the nation, and the final bill protects several key provisions of current law that help make higher education more affordable and accessible. The bill maintains the tax-free status of tuition waivers for graduate students, and preserves current deductions for interest on student loans. It also retains the Lifelong Learning Credit and the ability of universities to provide tax-free tuition assistance for employees and their dependents.

Unfortunately, the bill also includes other provisions that will increase costs for universities, and may make it more difficult to raise the private gifts that are now so crucial to support our students, our academic programs and our research. You can read more about these and other provisions here.

I hope you will stay engaged in the coming year as the U of I System continues to champion the interests of our students and our universities, both in Washington and in Springfield. My thanks again for your support, and I wish you all a peaceful and joyous holiday season.



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