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Tax Bill Causing Consternation Across U.S. For Graduate Students

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 - 7:24am
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The federal tax bill currently moving through Congress is causing consternation for graduate students across the nation.

Language in the current House bill would treat tuition waivers and teaching stipends for graduate students as earned income, thereby making it taxable.

Michelle Sullivan-Govani, vice president for external affairs for the Arizona State University Graduate and Student Professional Student Association, said if the House version of the bill is approved as is, graduate students will see as much as a 275 percent increase in their federal income tax liability.

“That is looking to make graduate school impossible for all but the most privileged of students. TAs and RAs are supporting the school through the research that they do and through the countless undergraduate students that they mentor and teach" she said.

Some legislators voted on the bill without understanding the gravity of those contents.

“Some of our Republican Congressmen who supported the bill were shocked when we sent them our briefing sheets and our impact calculator. This bill was put together quickly. They were looking for places to cut.”    

ASU enrolls more than 14,000 graduate students per year. The Senate version of the bill does not include an increase to graduate students' federal tax liability.