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Students rallied on Kansas university campuses on Wednesday as part of a day of demonstrations nationwide against Republican tax reform efforts that could make higher education more expensive. "Under the tax plan proposed by House Republicans, these students would have to report that tuition forgiveness as income.About 145,000 grad students received a tuition reduction in 2011-12, the American Council on Education says".

While the current versions of the Senate tax plan don't include the move to tax the tuition waiver as income, college officials said they remain concerned about other provisions that are in the Senate version.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on its tax reform bill next week, however, there is no stipulation in that bill that would effect grad students as it does in the House proposal.

The Senate version would not tax tuition waivers as income.

In response, the University sent out an email to graduate students on November 17, addressing their concerns and assuring them that they were working with other Universities as well as allies in Congress to oppose the tax changes. For this student, the largest increase in ETR under the House plan was 18.1 percent, mostly because their income is low enough that under previous historical tax structures they paid very little.

Demonstrators held signs with messages such as "tax the rich", "my education not your vacation" and "make fascists pay".

However, for some graduate students this may be insufficient, and there are people who expect the administration to take a more proactive stance in the form of contingency plans or outlined strategies that people can understand and to which they can relate. At the rally, Tracey Blasenheim, a graduate students, told the crowd, "Make no mistake; the passage of this bill will create a crisis in graduate education".

We asked whether simply adding back the tuition waiver provision to the House plan would alleviate the tax burden on students, and in all situations, this is the case.
"We're going to see fewer students going to school at private universities, or in the United States", Velan said.

"We continue to encourage students to contact their members of Congress to express their concerns about these proposals", he added.

Around fifty University of Pennsylvania students recently staged a "work-in" demonstration in order to protest the tax bill now being debated in Congress.

"Chancellor Kent Syverud made clear the University opposes any tax measures that would harm our graduate students, faculty, and staff, and their families", Wheatly said in the email. "In fact, I have spoken to several secretaries of college presidents who work for much lower pay than they could find elsewhere but who choose the college setting because they could send their children to the college for free", said Don Francis, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania.

More than 1,500 graduate employees at the UO get tuition waivers and receive small stipends for teaching and research.

Graduate tax hike protest at UC Berkeley on November 29, 2017. These waivers cover tuition for students who teach or conduct research at the University, and include a modest stipend for living expenses.

We appreciate the desire to simplify and strengthen the nation's tax code, and we also recognize that our legislators have many competing interests to balance.

"We make Duke University what it is", Karklina said.

The provision would affect more than 8,000 graduate and professional students across Iowa's public universities, the letter stated. They say the legislation would "cause a crisis in graduate education". The House plan passed in that chamber 227-205 on November 16.

It is unclear how this demonstration proved the "vitality" of the work of Penn grad students. "Graduate students are the bedrock of innovation, of research, of technology, of the economy". The campaign also takes aim at other provisions of the proposed changes, including the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate.


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