Rhiannon Miller, a PhD student in Sociology, echoed Agarwal’s concerns, saying that the University has a responsibility to ensure that graduate students are provided a living wage and equal opportunities regardless of their backgrounds.
“Indeed, if you’re looking for what really distinguishes this generation of college students from past ones, it’s not Facebook or fidget spinners or event trigger warnings and ‘safe spaces, ‘” says Annie McClanahan, assistant professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. While many save only about $200, it’s unfathomable why Congress would want to make it more hard for Americans to pay off their student loans. The contents of that final bill are uncertain now. If students have to take out loans to pay these taxes, they may not be able to deduct the interest on those loans from their taxes, furthering the burden of continuing education. But competitive schools like Penn State generally sweeten the deal by waiving their tuition fees, too.
Reilly said this increase in taxes does not make sense economically.
Currently, the tuition waivers that graduate students receive for acting as teaching assistants or research assistants are tax-free. For many graduate students, that change could increase their tax bill by several thousand dollars, making the cost of their programs unaffordable. The Senate version of the legislation leaves the exemption in place, meaning the provision is one that would have to be negotiated by Congress before it can send the bill to President Trump to sign into law. Students are banking on Congress keeping it that way. Unfortunately, tax advantages for lower-income individuals do not seem to have been a high priority in the legislation that has been proposed. Tuition waivers are extremely common for graduate students.
In the statement she goes on to say that while she appreciates Congress’s attempt at improving the tax code, she was immediately concerned by it upon it’s release in early November.
“I’d definitely do the same thing again”, Groebe said. “But I can’t know what I’m going to do until I know what the damage potential is”.
This bill would be devastating to graduate students – some of whom support families – whose stipends are often only $20,000 per year or less.
Negotiations between the GEO and the University over a new contract for graduate students have dragged on since August.
“We’d like to see a solid reassurance that if this tax bill goes through, it will not cut our salaries to something like two thirds to one half of our starting salary”, he said.
Graduate education tuition at ISU is “pretty close” to undergraduate tuition, he said. “The advocacy we have seen from you and your colleagues across the country has been having an impact”. “We’d lose out on a lot of great talent”. Under the current tax legislation, the financial support provided by the tuition waivers is not considered as income and is not subject to taxation. It also would repeal the student loan interest deduction. At MIT, where tuition is more than $37,000 per year, a student with a waiver could owe as much as $10,000 in taxes. “I’m at the end of my degree”.
This is because her tuition, which is fully funded, would be taxed as if it was additional income under the bill.
“When you’re a graduate student, you get paid a small amount of money … but you get the benefit that your tuition is paid”, Moynihan said, speaking as part of a panel alongside Li. The senate bill attempts to repeal The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate while the house does not, the senate bill lowers the top tax bracket of their seven brackets while the house does not for its four brackets, to name a few.
University leaders and representatives of student groups said they had taken positive initial steps working together to confront and respond to the tax proposals. “But we’re performing services for our universities”.
“If it’s filled with any, or most of, the provisions aimed at higher ed, then I’ll have to drop out of my program”, said Tom DePaola, a doctoral candidate in education policy at the University of Southern California.
Annie can talk about the economics of higher education, and how this bill would impact graduate student debt. Eight graduate students, including Groebe, marched up to Ryan’s office. “It’s ridiculous”, said Paul D’Avanzo, a Temple student getting his doctorate in public health.