UCSD graduate students concerned over GOP tax plan

Aerial shot of the University of Washington in 2016

"Most graduate students receive tuition waivers in exchange for doing TAships or research programs, so they would receive a waiver for teaching a class at 10 hours a week, and then you would receive a small stipend in addition to that".

If the tuition waiver is counted as income, she said, she could have to pay an additional $3,600 a year in taxes, even though the money she actually takes home from her campus job is less than $20,000 annually.

"It was just like sending emails all the time", she said.

An afternoon recap of the day's most important business news, delivered weekdays. But the issues for graduate students cut straight to the day-to-day experience of pursing a master's or doctorate degree.

If also taxed for a $50,000 tuition waiver, the student would owe over $11,000 in taxes - 37 percent of their living stipend.

Currently, only the stipend is taxed. At Northeastern University, 1,200 of the 1,300 doctoral students receive the tuition benefit.

Let's make sure aptitude and achievement remain the only requirements for students who wish to pursue post-graduate degrees.

"We are closely monitoring progress on the Senate tax bill and have reached out to various members of Congress to discuss potential impacts on university students", Bird said.

Not every graduate-school program is as expensive as Carnegie Mellon's, of course, and private-school tuition is consistently higher than tuition at public universities.

The Senate version of the bill, introduced by the Senate Finance Committee on November 16 and passed December 2, now keeps the qualified tuition reductions section intact, along with several other tax breaks and credits for grad students that the House bill would eliminate.

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"Outside of the university world, there is some controversy to the current tax provisions", he said in response to a question from a medical student.

"Is that fair?" said Brady, a Republican from Texas. "If I had to absorb this, I definitely wouldn't be able to continue pursuing a degree".

'I've never spent time trying to figure this out until the last three weeks; now I've been thinking about it all the time'.

These tax changes are going to directly affect the ability of those universities to provide the maximum amount of monetary support to the student body.

Officials at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology are also tracking tax reform legislation. But presuming that is the case, "it would have a tremendous impact on graduate students". They have submitted editorials to their hometown papers opposing the bill. "It has some very real implications for pushing students in tax brackets that are unaffordable".

This past Wednesday the UC Student-Workers Union (UAW Local 2865) held a graduate student walk-out on Library Walk in protest of the bill's effects on students, where the prompt, "As a student worker I (we) ..." appeared throughout photographs of students on social media documenting the event. "College affordability is a major issue in this country and this bill I think specifically and unfairly targets college students". With this said, having the privilege to study at the University of Wisconsin is an honor that many people do not get, and many do not understand the value of. Academia is not generally a go-to for economic advancement, but what mobility it does offer will effectively be slashed should the House version become law. The general consensus of those who fight for, and study how tax changes could affect students and universities, including The American Association of State Colleges, is that the new tax plan will only undermine higher education by changing tax breaks given to students and families.

Blatant taxes imposed on universities is not where the war on education ends. Graduate students' taxable compensation varies considerably by college or school within UT from roughly $13,000 to $30,000 per academic year, said Shilpa Bakre, a university spokeswoman.

More than 2,000 graduate students across the US have signed a petition started at Harvard asking Congress to keep the tuition waiver. "So I hope that it will not become necessary".

Federal grants that universities rely on for their research often require matching funding, and the tuition reductions can be considered an expense without requiring the institution to set aside cash, Thomas said. But, it's a privilege that should not be exclusively available to the top one percent that not only reaps the benefits of Republican tax reforms, but is able to pay the arm and a leg tuition costs imposed because of them.

Many schools, including Harvard, are also fighting efforts by graduate students to form unions, arguing that they are on campus for educational purposes and not as university employees.



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