Kansas Graduate Students Say Federal Tax Bill Will Make Their Education More Expensive

Nov 29, 2017

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.

A provision in the House version of the federal tax bill would treat the tuition waivers graduate students receive for teaching classes or doing research as taxable income.

"Higher education is a public good," says Dennis Livesay, the dean of Wichita State University's graduate school. "Public policy should align and invest in our public goods. And I worry that this policy, if it would become law, is counter to that."

WSU undergrad Tracia Banuelos was one of a few dozen students protesting the tax reform efforts on campus. She says it could put her plan to pursue a master’s degree out of reach.

“It would be impossible to go to graduate school and I don’t know if I could do that plan anymore," says Banuelos.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that some graduate students could see their taxes triple under the House bill.

The Senate version would not tax tuition waivers as income.


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