Haydee Jacobs: Explains tax reform’s impact on graduate students

  • mactrunk

Thursday, November 30, 2017
Explains tax plan’s impact on graduate students

I am currently a master’s degree student studying environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The higher education community is expressly affected by the proposed tax-reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Currently, Section 117(d) allows institutions to provide tax-free tuition for individuals employed as graduate level teaching and research assistants.

The proposed tax policy would lead to the elimination of the tax-free nature of tuition remissions. Given the average stipend of a graduate student, the proposed policy would lead to a situation where students can barely survive, and would be unable to continue their education unless they are independently wealthy.

The impact of this act would be felt by universities, graduate students and the entire academic community. A reduction in graduate students ultimately means a reduction in the research necessary to create policies and regulations which protect public health.

We ask for your support for the American higher education system. We ask you to publicly oppose these provisions of the bill that would negatively impact our communities as a whole.

Haydee Jacobs