Hello! After a long silence in this platform, I would like to address a very important issue that affects me and my fellow grad students: the GOP proposed tax bill. Among the reforms, there is a direct attack to graduate students who receive tuition tax waivers. According to the National Humanities Alliance:
…the bill amends Section 414(t)(2) of the tax code by striking section 117(d), which directs that “gross income shall not include any qualified tuition reduction.” In 117(d)(5), the current tax code specifically defines tuition waivers for graduate students engaged in teaching and research as “qualified tuition reductions,” and therefore not taxable.
This additional tax burden would cut into the modest stipends with which many graduate students already struggle to make ends meet.
Students at the University of Southern California in partnership with Save Grad Ed are organizing a nationwide walkout (#gradtaxwalkout) on Wednesday November 29th at 1:00pm EST/10am PST to show how vital graduate students are to higher education.
Graduate students teach undergraduate classes, grade your papers, keep the education-loop going. This activity aims to make visible the ways graduate students contribute to society and academia?
As a graduate student, I feel personally attacked by this bill and the awful events it would have over my job. If this goes on, it is very likely I will not be able to continue my PhD studies. Graduate students wages are very tight are they are, the waivers we get is to make it easier throughout our paths in higher education.
If you know a grad student, if you are a grad student, if you feel compelled about preserving education in this country, join us in this national walkout. You can find events happening near you on social media or signing up to the Grad Tax Walkout Rally here: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/grad-tax-walkoutrally-to-save-higher-education
Other ways to help? Share this information and contact your representatives to express your rejection of this bill. You can also use the format provided by the American Council of Education: acenet.edu/taxreform
Please help us make some noise!