On Nov. 16 the U.S. House of Representatives voted 227-205 to pass H.R. 1, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a tax reform bill that could take away numerous waivers and course reductions that graduate students rely on to help pay for their education.
Dissuading grad students from serving as teaching assistants would wreak havoc in the introductory courses undergraduate students have to pass. Teaching assistants make large lecture classes viable by leading discussions sections and sometimes teach their own classes too. “The GOP chose to balance the budget on the backs of graduate students and the working class, while they do little to nothing about corporate tax loopholes and wealthy offshore tax havens”.
GSA President Michael Skiles said the tax plan would affect more than 40 percent of graduate students in the University of California system, most of who are doctoral candidates. Whether or not the heavier tax burden wold lead to an educational apocalypse is an open question, but it is certain to fall harder on Americans than on worldwide students studying at USA colleges. Second, the House bill takes away a provision that allows students to not pay taxes on up to ,250 in training paid for by their employer, making it more expensive for employees to improve their skills.
UVM Professor Cindy Forehand spoke to VPR’s Henry Epp. Graduate students at private institutions like Syracuse University would have it worse.
BC has 3,837 graduate students, according to the University’s 2017 Annual Report.
GOP Senators are developing their own tax proposal, which now does not call for taxes on tuition waivers.
Fuchs called the tax bill an attack on higher education and said cutting the employee assistance incentive seems counterintuitive to the other parts of the bill, which is slashing corporate taxes.
He added the bill also reduces tax credits students receive for academic expenses, such as educational software. She says this proposal is an attack on higher learning.
“This is an unfair shifting of burden to those who can least afford to pay the tax”, Lanyon said in the email.
If fewer people pursue graduate educations, Sonora said his main worry is a shortage of highly educated workers, who tend to contribute to the country’s overall economy more than low-skilled ones. Marco Rubio said that “we need a holistic overhaul” of higher ed. “Welders make more money than philosophers”, Rubio said.
Edith Lord is the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Education at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Waivers are discounts on tuition that are offered in exchange for working for the university, often as teaching associates. “What that would mean is that most of us would have to get a second job”.
The tax hike would be smaller for students at state universities, where tuition is lower, and larger for global students, whose tuition is generally higher. For example, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, classifies tuition aid as scholarships, which would remain untaxed.
The House bill puts America at risk of abdicating its leadership of the scientific community.
The measure could also make graduate school less desirable for American students, as well as for worldwide students who want to study at top USA universities, Sonora said.
The House voted November 16 to approve the act, titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for the 2018 fiscal year. The two versions of the bill must be reconciled before the final law would take effect in 2018.