Politics

The GOP Tax Plan Is Making Grad Students Really Nervous

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would count tuition waivers as income and tax the amount.

The GOP Tax Plan Is Making Grad Students Really Nervous
Office of the Speaker of the House
SMS

As it stands, the GOP tax plan could force graduate students to pay thousands of dollars more in taxes.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would count tuition waivers as taxable income and tax the amount. Under current law, grad students only pay taxes on stipends they're given in exchange for work they do for the university; tuition waivers, which don't actually give students any money, don't count for tax purposes.

Carnegie Mellon University's Graduate Student Assembly sent out a helpful Google Doc showing the impact the proposed changes would have for each of its colleges.

Tax Reform Bill Could Hurt The One Group Republicans Promised To Help

Tax Reform Bill Could Hurt The One Group Republicans Promised To Help

Multiple analyses have found some in the middle class could end up paying more taxes under the new bill.

LEARN MORE

For example, right now, a graduate student in the university's College of Fine Arts with a $40,000 waiver and a $13,500 stipend would pay $310 in taxes. Under the new tax plan, they'd pay over $5,000 in taxes.

That's a pretty significant jump, especially if you consider that in the 2011-2012 school year, more than half of graduate and Ph.D. students made $20,000 or less.