Education, Government

New Tax Bill Could Mean Trouble for Graduate Students

By Daniel Ziegler SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Last week, students gathered in front of Hendricks Chapel on the Syracuse University campus. Their goal was to protest the new tax reform bill which at that point, had passed in the House of Representatives.

A few days later, the tax bill would also pass in the Senate by a vote 51 to 49.

The main question to be asked about this is how exactly does the bill effect college students?

The answer is graduate students might have the short end of the stick in this one. A proposal in the tax bill would make it so tuition waivers for graduate students would be taxable. This would add thousands of dollars to the already expensive tuition fees graduate students already pay.

The difference of a few thousands of dollars would be a deal breaker for some prospective grad students. Current SU grad student Garrett Calton said if the bill was passed a few years earlier, “It would probably make me not go to grad school.”

Prospective grad students are not the only ones concerned about the new tax bill. The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Joel Kaplan, said the bill would make “higher education as we know it won’t exist.”

Dean Kaplan also expressed he had no clue how grad students would be able to pay off the new debts from the tuition waiver taxes. As a result, Kaplan said there would definitely be a decrease in enrollment from grad students at SU if this proposal were to become law.

The tuition waiver proposal is still in contention as it was only included in the version of the tax bill passed by the House of Representatives and was not included in the version which passed the Senate. The two sides of Congress will likely meet soon enough to put together a final version of the bill. This final bill could decide the future of many students.