#GradTaxWalkout: Students Nationwide Denounce Tax Proposal's Assault on Higher Ed

Graduate students, faculty, and members of the community gathered in Founders Plaza on Wednesday afternoon in protest of the tax bill recently passed by the House of Republicans.

Beyond its direct effects on graduate students, the tax plan will likely have a negative effect on graduate student enrollment and their contributions to the university, said Karen DePauw, Virginia Tech vice president and dean for graduate education.

While the current versions of the Senate tax plan don't include the move to tax the tuition waiver as income, college officials said they remain concerned about other provisions that are in the Senate version. She points out that many graduate students have spouses and children to support themselves and don't have the means to pay taxes on money that is meant to make education affordable. Graduate students form the backbone of research done at universities in the U.S. When professors proudly talk about the incredible work their lab is performing, the odds are that the critical contributions were made by an army of smart, hardworking grad students.

The latest version of the Senate's tax plan does not include this provision, but could grow to include it as the two legislative bodies negotiate on one bill to send to the White House.

(From left to right) Graduate students Misha Grifka, Natalia Colon Alvarez, Alison [f500link] Cummins [/f500link], Mariah Marsden, Liz Miller, Paige Busby, Yanar Hashlamon and Noah Bukowski protest the GOP tax bill at Ohio State University on November 29, 2017.

"It would be impossible to go to graduate school and I don't know if I could do that plan anymore", says Banuelos. The Senate's version of the bill - which does not now include the provision reclassifying tuition waivers - was approved Tuesday by the Senate Budget Committee, which is chaired by Sen.

Continuing work on his master's degree would be hard enough with the added tax burden, Giese said, but taxing tuition waivers could kill his hopes for pursuing a Ph.D.

For young working mothers like Cheyenne Finkbeiner, 22, who attended the rally with her baby, dreams of pursuing higher education may become much more unlikely.

If tuition becomes taxable, the life of a graduate student becomes unaffordable.


Because he never actually sees the roughly $5,800 waived by UW, Giese said he would have to pay these new taxes out of his stipend and out of the income he makes from a second job. Despite University provisions that require student protests to be registered five weeks in advance, Rubenson said USC has supported their right to demonstrate. In this scenario, the public university student's TTO increases 386 percent-or up $3,366 from $872-while the private university student's TTO increases 192 percent-a jump of $7,020 from $3,649.

We're always working to make sure our voices are heard throughout the CU Boulder community because we firmly believe that graduate students are great contributors to the university's goal.

Graduate students not only serve as teaching assistants and teaching associates for undergraduate classes, but many of us at the Georgetown University Medical Center have taught graduate and medical students as well. "So, an undergraduate [student] to get out of the University of Southern California with loans will now be paying tax on the interest". "There's a lot of good work taking place on this campus that would be halted by this bill". Psychology professor Dr. Stan Huey was one of the handful of faculty members supporting the grad students.

The pupils have said that it is not possible for them to continue their studies with such high dues that are being charged by the university.

Organized by UMN Grads United, marchers chanted "grad power" as they made the walk from Coffman Memorial Union to Morrill Hall, which houses University President Eric Kaler's office.

The Senate plan would raise the deduction to $500, which would reduce taxes on teachers by $1.5 billion over 10 years.

In the languages departments, for instance, it's graduate students who have the most contact with first-year undergraduate students.

In 2016, the UI's three campuses provided $184 million in tuition waivers for more than 9,500 teaching and research assistants, who also receive modest stipends that are already taxed.

University spokesperson Stephen McCarthy wrote in an emailed statement that Penn is "actively working" to address the concerns of graduate students.


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