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Grad Students Are Right to Protest GOP Tax Cut Bill

The House tax reform bill is "an attack on higher education in the name of reform," according to Gary S. May, chancellor of the University of California, Davis.

In an article published n the Opinion section of the Sacramento Bee, May says the harshest assault is the bill's repeal of tax-free tuition waivers. The House tax plan would treat students’ unpaid tuition as taxable income, resulting in a tax burden that many could not cover with their earnings from working as teaching or research assistants. 

The House tax bill would also end the $2,500 deduction for student loan interest. Eliminating the deduction would make it costlier and more difficult for young people to enter professions, May wrote.

Calling graduate students, "the engines of research and innovation," May added, "Raising taxes on graduate students in the name of reform is like reducing weight on an airplane by throwing out the passengers."

"If the goal of this legislation is to reduce Americans’ tax burden, then it is falling far short and leaving our students out in the cold," he wrote. "It would make college less affordable and prevent more people from obtaining the knowledge, skills and experience needed to compete in a rapidly changing economic landscape."

Read the full article.