U of I Professor Says Tax Cut Bill Will Harm Students

Dec 6, 2017

A higher education professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says the tax cut bill working through congress is a bad deal for students.

Jennifer Delaney is an associate professor in higher education and has been studying the GOP tax cut plan. She says the version of the plan passed by the House of Representatives taxes the graduate tuition waiver.

Delaney says graduate students get a modest stipend for their research and teaching work … plus a break on tuition.

“So part of the compensation they receive is a tuition waiver where they don’t have to pay tuition for their studies.”

Delaney says taxing a tuition waiver is like taxing a coupon.

“This could significantly make it look on paper that they’re receiving more income than they actually do. And because those wages aren’t very high it’s not clear that all graduate students will have the ability to pay that tax bill.”

Right now there are House and Senate versions of the GOP tax cut bill. The Senate version would keep the tuition waiver.

Representatives and Senators must negotiate and mesh the two versions together before Congress votes on a final tax cut measure.