Tax Changes Could 'Devastate' Graduate Students and American Competitiveness

Alicia Farmer
December 6, 2017

He worries that if the House tax bill becomes law, his annual tax bill would balloon so high that he'd be unable to make ends meet.

"It would be devastating to graduate education, undermining severely our pipeline of bright new graduate students who are going to contribute to our economy in a whole range of fields, but especially in the field of STEM", said Steven M. Bloom, director of government relations for the council, referring to science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Academics cycled through protest chants across from the park's Holiday Market, occasionally drawing the attention of shoppers. Almost 150,000 students across the country benefit from these programs, many of whom will continue to become leading scholars and researchers for their generation. 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.

"It's an outrageous financial burden for graduate students", said Rhoads, 24, who works as a research and teaching assistant at the university in the nation's capital.

The House tax bill would make the tuition waiver taxable.

The House tax plan would repeal Sec. The House bill also proposed to tax tuition waivers for faculty children as income and to end deductions for the payment of interest on student loans. The House tax plan would have the student pay taxes on the total, $57,000.

Members of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee of the USW and Pitt students will deliver letters to the Republican senator, urging him to keep provisions passed by the House of Representatives out of the final version of the tax bill. This means that, if a graduate student has $30,000 put toward their tuition of $50,000 a year for their work as a teaching assistant, their taxable income is now $80,000, whereas under the current tax law it would only be $30,000. The House passed their tax plan on November 16. The Senate passed their plan early Saturday morning, despite outrage from legislators who were given the 479-page bill mere hours before the vote took place.

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Most graduate students work for their universities at some point of their education, and a report by the Council of Graduate Schools found that almost a quarter of doctoral students received institutional tuition and fee waivers in 2012. "In my department, I know there are only two incoming PhD students every year who get this particular package", she said.

In a statement to The New School Free Press, a university spokesperson said, "The New School, like all American universities, is concerned about the potential implications of the proposed tax legislation for our students".

The university declined to provide information about graduate student compensation.

Yadav and Chandler Gandy, an undergraduate student in SENS-UAW, both said that the school has not provided any response to the tax plan. "Obviously because of what we know about the generational wealth gaps between people of color and whites historically, it is likely to have a bigger impact on people of color and worldwide students because they don't tend to have a safety net that allows them to cover these types of unexpected expenses". "We want to show politicians that we actually care about this really important issue for grad students", Algers said.

Conservatives use this set of beliefs to justify massive desecrations of public universities and higher education systems nationwide.

Yadav said that SENS-UAW had not yet brought discussion of the tax bill into bargaining with the university.

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