• Grad Students Organize to Prevent Near-Impoverishment under GOP Tax Plan

    by  • December 7, 2017 • Calls to Action, Legislation, News

    Graduate students seem to be unfairly hit by the GOP tax plan and have organized to block passage.

    Graduate students pay for their education by teaching, doing research, and performing routine administrative tasks in return for waived tuition and a meager stipend. Under the proposed GOP tax bill, graduate student tuition waivers will be counted as ordinary income.

    Current and would-be graduate students fear that, were the bill to pass, getting a PhD in the US could become financially impossible. “I monitor all legislation at the state and federal levels that could affect graduate and professional students, and this is just—this would have the greatest negative impact of anything I’ve seen,” says Samantha Hernandez, legislative director of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. “It would be devastating.” ~ Graduate Students Nationwide are Freaking Out over the GOP Tax Plan. They Should Be.

    Get Involved

    The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students urges you to get involved, share their tweets under #ReworktheReform and keep calling your Congressional offices.

    “Because of withholding, this means that I’d actually lose paychecks — that for a couple months out of the year there would be no pay whatsoever,” Hébert said. “That would push us to the poverty line …” ~ Inside Higher Ed

    Recently, graduate students organized by SEIU were arrested at a sit-in in front of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office to protest the GOP bill. Faculty Forward is asking all to share their action on Facebook, and to tweet and retweet under hashtag #GradWalkOut.

    For an exhaustive list of stories on how the GOP tax bill would impact graduate students, search this list.

    Impact on Student Loans and Higher Ed

    Of course the pain is not restricted to graduate students. Student loan deductions are a more complicated story, and there are differences between the House and Senate versions that must be reconciled in committee. Inside Higher Ed published a comparison of the two bills: How the Tax Bills Would Hit Higher Ed.

    The Nation thinks the GOP tax proposal bad for students while Forbes believes the GOP is correct in eliminating the student loan deduction.

    In terms of how the bill affects higher education institutions, in general, some are spared, others will face taxation on endowments at certain colleges and universities. The American Council on Education reports that the Senate Tax Bill Retains Benefits for Students, Puts Other Higher Education Provisions on Chopping Block.

    The Chicago Tribune thinks the Senate bill will be good for some private school parents, bad for public schools (yet saves the school supply deductions), and is generally better for college students than the House bill, if that is any consolation.

    Current State of the Two Tax Plans

    Finally, for the key differences between the entire House and Senate tax bills, see the Politico story:
    10 key differences between the dueling Senate and House tax bills


    The goal of the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition (MALC) is to ensure that Massachusetts artists of all disciplines have a voice in public dialogs, decisions, and key public policy initiatives that impact the artists community and the creative economy. MALC works to ensure that artists have a permanent place at the policy making table.