How the GOP Tax Plan Could Hurt Graduate Students — and American Research

"Buried in the details of the 400-page tax-reform plan unveiled on Thursday by House Republicans is a proposal that, if enacted, would leave many graduate students wondering if they could afford to continue their studies," according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

"Under current law, college employees are allowed to get a break on tuition without counting that break as taxable income. Graduate students who work as research or teaching assistants are among the chief beneficiaries of that policy.

But the bill released last week recommends that tuition waivers be counted as income and be subject to taxes. If that provision becomes law, graduate students could find themselves paying taxes on a far greater amount of money than they actually receive in paychecks from their college.

'Unless this can be circumvented, it would be a major disincentive for people to go to graduate school,' said Claus O. Wilke, a professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin. And the impact of the measure, he said, would fall mostly on students who go into fields that provide a benefit to society without offering high pay."

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Publication Date: 11/9/2017

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