Scholarship America and NSPA Join in Calling Congress to Stop Taxing Scholarships - Scholarship America

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Scholarship America and NSPA Join in Calling Congress to Stop Taxing Scholarships

By Matt Konrad

The annual National Scholarship Providers Association Conference, held October 1-3 in Minneapolis, is a unique opportunity to convene scholarship supporters, providers and administrators from across the country—and to call attention to pressing issues in the world of scholarships and financial aid.

As part of the conference, Scholarship America and NSPA came together to call on Congress to stop taxing college scholarships. Visit the NSPA website to watch video of the press conference and to download materials in support of the case. Visit to find and contact your elected officials.

Student scholarship awards are the only charitable gifts that are taxed. And, while some scholarships have been taxed in various ways for some time, changes in the 2017 Tax Reform Act made the burden on students and families far worse. Scholarships that cover living expenses are now treated as “unearned” income. That means the funds students receive for those expenses are being taxed at a staggering rate of up to 37%.

With living expenses making up an ever-increasing percentage of the cost of attending college, private-sector scholarship dollars are a vital source of support. The tax code should not hinder this support—nor should it burden students who have worked hard to earn scholarships and grants. To find out more and support our ongoing efforts, visit the NSPA website.

A brief history of scholarship taxation through 2017