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Unfortunately, a little-noticed provision in President Trump’s sprawling new tax law is treating middle- and low-income college students like trust-fund babies – a tax law established 33 years ago to prevent wealthy parents from funneling money to their children to lower their tax burdens.


  1. What does this provision do to students?
  2. How many undergraduates and graduate students are affected?
  3. What range of taxes are levied on unearned income per the new tax law?
  4. Why wasn’t it fixed in the draft stage?


Green, E. (2019). Low-Income College Students Are Being Taxed Like Trust-Fund Babies. New York Times, May 17 (Retrievable online at