Under the new tax reform bill, tuition waivers would be classified as taxable income.
Some provisions included in "The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" that has passed the House would levy a whole host of new taxes on both institutions and their students and could block higher education for millions of American students. A recent poll indicates voters oppose what came out of the House bill by a 17-percentage- point margin and the Senate package is likely no more popular.
UC President Janet Napolitano and two UC student regents said in a statement that they stand "in solidarity with students as we work together to advocate for fair tax policies and to advance our shared mission of supporting higher education". He says grad students across the country are afraid their tax bills will double or triple, which would discourage current and future students from continuing their education at.
"There's a misconception that grad school and academia in general is this sort of lofty enterprise", Baldino said.
Speakers and attendees repeatedly said the proposed tax increase could have a "catastrophic" effect on the graduate student population in the US and on the research they produce. This may also have a larger impact on global graduate students, as their out-of-state designation would yield higher taxes.
Such worries have meant sleepless nights for Mariel Bello, a USC doctoral student in clinical psychology who hopes her research will improve addiction treatment in low-income communities.
"When graduate students are under attack, what do we do?"
Connecticut Grad Students Say Proposed Tuition Waiver Tax Would Limit Access To Knowledge
Francis said he didn't have data on how many private college employees use tuition waivers in any given year.
"The amount of money we make for the university astronomically outweighs the amount of money they pay us", Daniels said.
He was disappointed with the University's response to the graduate students' concerns. Each is a de facto tax increase on American students and their families, makes the already hard task of affording college even more so, and closes the door to many for whom a college education is a doorway to a successful future. "In fact, I have spoken to several secretaries of college presidents who work for much lower pay than they could find elsewhere but who choose the college setting because they could send their children to the college for free", said Don Francis, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania.
On top of teaching, Brower is responsible for running conferences and writing his dissertation, and he receives a $20,000 tuition waiver. Since their stipends are around, or even below the poverty line, grad students end up paying very little in taxes. Congress's plan would show graduate students that they aren't a valued part of society, despite the great value they bring, DePauw said.
Passed by the House of Representatives on November 16, the tax proposal is a $1.5 trillion plan that promises a comprehensive rewrite of the tax code. The movement has also partnered with Save Grad Ed, a consortium of students from six universities who will be forced to withdrawal from their universities as a result of the bill, according to their site.
For example, if a student works in a university research lab and receives tuition assistance in exchange, he or she would have to claim that assistance as income and pay taxes on it.
Toomey's office said that the plan is more than just a couple changes. They say the legislation would "cause a crisis in graduate education".
In social sciences, graduate students also get to be teaching assistants for large lectures.
The innovations that have created our health and prosperity today were built on the research of yesterday's graduate students.
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