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Tax Changes Could 'Devastate' Graduate Students and American Competitiveness

06 Décembre 2017

Tuition waivers can be full or partial, and are not taxable income.

Rhoads is pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience at Georgetown University. Brinn, who is originally from Florida and also works as a teaching assistant, said the university's tuition waiver makes graduate school financially feasible, "without having to take out loans and having to beg my grandparents for help". That would cut into her already tight budget for medical bills, groceries, and auto insurance, Brinn said.

An afternoon recap of the day's most important business news, delivered weekdays. 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. Colleges and universities are their training programs and their research and development departments. They receive a small stipend, at UCSD it ranges anywhere from $18,000 to $30,000. In a study conducted by Gallup, Republicans are seen as more likely to distrust and dislike higher education due to their belief that universities are too liberal and political, forcing liberal agendas down the throats of students that are therefore not taught the correct material.

Graduate students around the USA are staging campus walk-outs and lobbying Congress in an effort to keep their tuition waivers tax-free.

The House of Representatives has crafted and passed a new tax plan that they are attempting transform into law. Under the plan, those discounts would be considered income for tax purposes, even though students never see that money in their bank accounts. The Senate's version would keep the tuition waivers tax-free. The House and Senate will now negotiate the final legislation.

Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady recently described the current exemption for graduate tuition waivers as controversial.

"Is that fair?" said Brady, a Republican from Texas.

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The protest was part of a series of demonstrations that have taken place nationwide related to the tax bill. He said the more serious issue facing graduate students is the rise in tuition costs at universities.

Right now, the average stipend of 25,000 dollars is the only taxable income graduate students receive. They have submitted editorials to their hometown papers opposing the bill.

The tax plan "threatens the financial stability of universities and specifically and unfairly targets college students, particularly graduate students", UMass president Martin Meehan and chancellors of the system's five campuses wrote last week in a letter to the state's congressional delegation.

The proposal has left many doctoral students who would otherwise be teaching classes, toiling in campus laboratories, and writing their own papers, delving into their IRS returns.

Many students have sent frantic e-mails to university deans questioning whether they could be affected and whether there are other options. This, they shared, has not only made the tuition waiver important but would make it hard for them to pay the added tax if the provision passes. Or universities could convert the tuition waivers into scholarships, which aren't taxed. "I hope the universities would be more clear with students about what they will do".

The House tax plan would repeal Sec. Public universities don't have the funds to fill in the gaps.

Tax Changes Could 'Devastate' Graduate Students and American Competitiveness