West Virginia Law Review

Document Type

Student Note


In a nation where education is held in the highest regard but given the lowest priority, the United States continues to enlarge a gaping hole in the education system: student loan debt, a crisis sweeping across the nation and affecting nearly every individual in the United States. Higher education costs have sky-rocketed, and the expanding administrations and complex projects do not provide assurance that this will change any time soon.

Congress has placed tax incentives in the Internal Revenue Code (“the Code”) to encourage the pursuit of higher education while providing a benefit for doing so. Specifically, § 221 of the Code allows individual taxpayers to deduct interest paid on their student loans, during the taxable year, from their taxable income. However, the value of § 221 wavers when evaluated for its utility, based on efficiency, equity, and simplicity to individual taxpayers. Further, the breadth of the student loan debt crisis has muted the effects § 221 may have provided. This Note will evaluate the § 221 deduction framework and discuss two potential solutions to address the § 221 deduction regarding the student loan debt crisis.



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