'U' Grad Students Protest GOP Tax Reform Plan

'U' Grad Students Protest GOP Tax Reform Plan

'U' Grad Students Protest GOP Tax Reform Plan

Under the House Republican Tax Reform bill, graduate students who receive tuition waivers would have to pay income taxes because the waivers would be counted as income.

Graduate Teaching Fellows at the University of OR held a rally Wednesday on campus to protest the GOP tax bill. The university covers the roughly $4,500 in tuition and more than $1,300 in student fees graduate students would otherwise pay each year as they complete their coursework. Instead, they took to the streets to protest provisions in the proposed tax legislation passed by House Republicans earlier this month. The House bill would end the tax break students get on the value of their tuition waivers.

Protesters claim the new tax plan is an attack on education.

They're anxious that adding more financial stress for future graduate students to navigate will make graduate school an unattainable career path for people from low-income backgrounds and families.

"It would send a message to our grad students that is unacceptable", DePauw said.

"I would lose half of that with the tax reform", said SIU grad student Andy Harper. But in the meantime, if Congress really wants to strengthen our economy and advance our quality of life, it should strip this and other research-killing provisions from its tax proposals and look for ways to invest more in the graduate students whose research does so much to improve our world.

As a graduate student, Negaard said she doesn't make much money so "taking more out of our paycheck just doesn't make any sense".

Since then, Price has written to members of the North Carolina House and Senate delegations asking for the representatives to protect higher education. It will also make it more hard for IU to attract the best and brightest students to the graduate programs on which the growth of our state and nation depend.

But, as CNN notes, most waiver-earning students "never even [see] the money".

Graduate tax hike protest at UC Berkeley on Nov. 29 2017
Graduate tax hike protest at UC Berkeley on Nov. 29 2017

Jonathan Brower, a seventh-year Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland's history department, said the university gives him $20,000 a year in exchange for working as a history instructor, a job that he says is extremely labor intensive.

He was disappointed with the University's response to the graduate students' concerns. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, of the 145,000 graduate students nationwide who would shoulder a higher tax burden, about 60 percent are studying within STEM fields. "I don't think it's going to do much unless we go in there and demand a response from the administration", he said.

University of Oregon (UO) graduate students will join thousands of other students in the National Walkout and Rallies Against Trump-GOP at Erb Memorial Union (EMU) Free Speech Plaza Tuesday. "When you start charging taxes on a tuition waiver - on students who are barely making it by on their stipends in the first place - then I think that's just risky in general".

A press release from the Council of Graduate Schools stated that the number of first time graduate programs leading to a master's degree or graduate certificate was 83.4 percent in the fall of 2016.

"We see strong evidence that a PhD student at a public university would see their taxes go up by 30 to 60 percent", Velan said.

As lawmakers debate tax reform in Washington, D.C., some students in Central Texas are concerned that proposed changes will affect the cost of higher education.

Many colleges have already spoken out against the revoking of the tax credit, including Carnegie Mellon University and Penn State University. "We must be very careful stewards of the limited funds we have for aid", Green said.

Whether we are interested in health sciences or computing, in art history or economics, the discoveries that move us have all been shaped by graduate student hands.

They also explained that GRO provided graduate students with premade tweets and calling scripts and that they are working closely with the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS). "The legislation takes important steps to help more Americans access the education, regardless of where they work - from dramatically simplifying the complex maze of higher education provisions that exist today to strengthening education savings tools".

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