I may have to drop out: Graduate students take on tax bill

This image is for use with this specific article only.** Demonstrators protest against the Republican tax reform plan during a rally organized by Our Revolution and Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund on Capitol Hill in Washington DC November

"The tax burden for a graduate student would go up to something on the order of $17,000 a year, once you consider both state and local taxes", Hogan explained. The House version of the bill would add income taxes to graduate school tuition when it is covered by colleges and universities. Furthermore, the bill would increase the standard deduction, meaning that less income overall is taxable. In compensation, the university or college give them a waiver on the institution's tuition plus stipends for living expenses.

"The bill would basically make graduate education pretty much untenable for people who aren't independently employed, and what this demonstration at Rutgers and on a national level is doing is showing that graduate students are integral to the function of the University", she said.

Any employee of a university, whose children therefore go for free, will now pay taxes on that fine benefit.

The proposed tax bill will raise taxes on graduate students by up to 400%.

A letter (pdf) sent to House Republicans earlier this month by dozens of education groups noted the multiple attacks on education embedded in the proposal including the repeal of the Student Loan Interest Deduction and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

Hyler said the average graduate student receives about $20,000 as part of their stipend annually.

At Duke University, the students marched with chants of "No tax cuts for corporations, money for jobs and education".

The Senate version of the bill, passed 12-11 in the Senate Budget Committee on November 28, is now advancing to the floor for a vote. 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.

We urge the university community to defend its graduate and campus workers by calling on their representatives to oppose this tax proposal as it enters Senate review.

"We're monitoring the legislative tax reform discussion closely and very concerned about the impact this change would have on our faculty and staff, who depend on our tuition programs to support the college education of their family members", Ferlazzo said. "But this doesn't mean that they can take the limited funds that you receive and tax them away". However, other facets of these plans appear to decrease taxes owed when tuition is waived, so each student's individual status will dictate whether these plans harm or help. Psychology professor Dr. Stan Huey was one of the handful of faculty members supporting the grad students.

The situation has led graduate students to mobilize as the replies from legislators have been varied, Hyler said.

But it will also affect many in-state students, who tend to have relatively low incomes and could be pushed into a higher tax bracket if waivers were counted, he said.

"Ultimately, the differences between the House and the Senate will have to be reconciled", he said.

Nationwide, about 57 percent of tuition waivers given to graduate students go to scholars in science, technology, engineering and math - key areas for US economic growth, Delaney noted.

Yet recent polls indicate as many Americans believe themselves middle class as before the crisis, and most are satisfied with their jobs and feel they are getting ahead when the data indicate they are not.

We have a good network of support at CU Boulder and communicate very often with the dean of the Graduate School, Ann Schmiesing. "We run this university".

"This plan is going to be disastrous for higher ed", said Jack Nicoludis, a Harvard graduate student in chemistry, who helped organize a protest on the campus.

It's unclear what the final bill will look like, Boswell said. 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.

Athletic donations would also be affected.

"They are our nation's future and deserve congressional support - not a tax hike", the statement said.

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