Republican tax bill worries grad students

UMN graduate students worry over financial impact of GOP tax plan

Scenes like these played out at several dozen universities across the U.S. on Wednesday, as hundreds of graduate students walked out in protest of the House Republican tax plan.

The bill does away with a tax break for students receiving a tuition waiver that certain students receive in exchange for working on research and teaching classes for the university.

"Even a thousand dollars more a year is a huge deal for a graduate student who can barely save about $3,000 or $4,000 a year", he said.

LSU graduate students are sounding the alarm, saying the tax reform bill passed by the U.S. House before Thanksgiving could lead to a "brain drain" in Louisiana.

Speakers at the rally predicted the House bill would triple or quadruple the amount of tax paid by the typical graduate student worker.

Just feet away from the Offices of the President and Provost, about 50 graduate students sat in the lobby of College Hall on November 29 to protest the GOP tax bill.

"Graduate school is so hard and rigorous.to add more financial stress to that situation just makes it discouraging for some", said Jeff Strietzel, president of Baylor's Graduate Student Association.

"It would count graduate tuition waivers as taxable income", said Kristiana Wright, a member of Grads United.

At the University of Maryland, students said they felt like the tax plan treats them like trash, and they wore garbage bags to a rally. The Senate's version of the bill - which does not now include the provision reclassifying tuition waivers - was approved Tuesday by the Senate Budget Committee, which is chaired by Sen.

Graduate students and faculty gathered in a large circle on Cater Lawn chanting, "No grad tax", under gray skies. She says it could put her plan to pursue a master's degree out of reach.

Graduate students in attendance said it is already a challenge to make ends meet in the Bay Area.

Grad Students Would Be Hit By Massive Tax Hike Under House GOP Plan
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Also in a written statement to the newspaper, Kaine said, "Graduate students have invested time and money to plan out their futures based on a promise that was made to them, and changing the rules is wrong".

Thus, in the coming days, we will continue to vigorously express our strong support for amendments that would reduce the negative effects of this legislation and oppose amendments that would cause further harm to the university, its students, and its staff.

"Higher education is a public good", says Dennis Livesay, the dean of Wichita State University's graduate school.

"History shows that unions are the only vehicle, really, that employees have to fight back against the employer's offensive", Cloud said.

In addition to taxing tuition waivers, the bill also targets $5,250 of tax-free income faculty, undergraduates and graduate students receive. They students are protesting a proposed tax on their tuition waivers.

How do you think this could affect future students' choices to enter graduate school?

"If you want certainty in your life, you should join us", Daniels said.

We appreciate the desire to simplify and strengthen the nation's tax code, and we also recognize that our legislators have many competing interests to balance. That would hurt the UI's ability to attract the best graduate students from around the world, he said.

A recent letter to the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee from the American Council on Education states clearly and succinctly: "This legislation, taken in its entirety, would discourage participation in postsecondary education, make college more expensive for those who do enroll, and undermine the financial stability of public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities". Changes to Tax Credits will provide about $18 billion of the $65 billion in revenue over 10 years.

It is unclear how this demonstration proved the "vitality" of the work of Penn grad students. The $1.41 trillion total student debt is out of control, with a loan default rate of 11 percent, and the majority of borrowers repaid nothing in the three years after finishing school.

Graduate students also conduct research that contributes to Georgetown's status as a Research I worldwide center for scholarly research.

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