H.R. 1 has many provisions that will adversely impact graduate students:
- Tuition reductions for graduate student employees will be taxable.
- Any expense paid by the university (e.g., tuition remission/waiver, health insurance, etc.) for graduate student RAs and TAs will be taxable.
- Fellowships will be taxable.
- The Student Loan Interest Deduction will be eliminated.
- The Lifetime Learning Credit will be eliminated.
- The Hope Scholarship Credit will be eliminated.
- The American Opportunity Tax Credit will be expanded to cover a fifth year of higher education (i.e., a first year of graduate school), but the expansion will be limited to full-time students only.
The base graduate tuition (full-time) is $11,240 for Arizona residents, $29,176 for domestic non-residents, and $31,336 for international non-residents. Note, all graduate students with an RA/TA contract are automatically given resident tuition, regardless of residency status. The above changes will increase the tax liability for graduate students on “income” we never see. Additionally, depending on how much you make and how large your tuition waiver is, you may be bumped to a higher tax bracket (e.g., from 12% to 25%). Given the average stipend of a graduate or professional student, the proposed policy will lead to a situation where students can barely survive on their stipends. This will also make it difficult for universities to recruit graduate-professional students. Ultimately, this hinders the progress of research and innovation at these institutes of higher learning.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the status of the tax bill. Our response is ongoing, and we are making efforts to speak in person with legislators to voice our concerns about this bill and the impact it will have on students for years to come. Click below to follow us:
Calculate how H.R. 1 will impact your tax burden and take-home income:
See GPSA’s calculation guide. Share your results with GPSA on social media using the hashtags #reworkthereform #myimpact #ourgpsa
Visit the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students’ Press Kit to download the list of representatives and senators. The list has their phone numbers and Twitter handles.
Use the provided call script to explain how the bill will impact your financial wellness and educational pursuits.
Tweet @ Your Representatives:
Examples from the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students:
- Repealing sec. 117(d) of the tax reform bill will make it difficult to be a graduate student without being independently wealthy #ReworkTheReform
- @______, protect your future professors and industry leaders, don’t repeal Sec 117(d) & Sec 127 in the name of reform #ReworkTheReform
- @______keep jobs coming into your district, invest in your graduate students and universities #ReworkTheReform
- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will adversely impact the higher education community. #ReworkTheReform
- The Tax Reform Bill will discourage students from pursuing graduate degrees needed for jobs in the 21st century #ReworkTheReform