News Local/State

Graduate Students Oppose GOP Tax Cut Plan


Graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign worry that the Republican tax reform plan could make their education more expensive. 

Right now, graduate students at the U of I get paid a stipend for their research or teaching work on campus, plus a tuition waiver.

Students pay taxes on their stipend but the tuition waiver is tax-free. Under the GOP tax plan, graduate students will have to pay taxes on their tuition waiver as well.

Graduate student Jason Rock says a tax on the tuition waiver tax would push low income students out of graduate school. "It would effectively make it so that only the affluent could pursue a higher education," Rock said. "It really would make it very difficult to see how graduate education as it exists today would continue," he added.

Congressman Rodney Davis, whose district includes the U of I Urbana campus, published a letter opposing the tuition waiver tax. But, Rock says Davis still supports the overall tax reform bill.

The university has also issued a statement opposing the tuition waiver tax portion of the GOP tax proposal.

Graduate students will rally against the tax plan Thursday at 5:30 p.m., at the Alma Mater statue.