Graduate Students

Graduate students nationwide can breathe a sigh of relief: Their tuition waivers won't be taxed after all.

A provision in the Republican House tax plan had originally proposed taxing grad students' tuition waivers as income. It was a controversial proposal and sent a wave of anxiety across campuses, leading to protests at dozens of universities.

Graduate students around the country walked out of their classes, office hours, and research labs to protest the House Republican tax plan Wednesday.

"This plan is going to be disastrous for higher ed," said Jack Nicoludis, a Harvard graduate student in chemistry, who helped organize a protest on the campus. He said the bill would more than double his taxes.

Esther Honig / WOSU

Dozens of graduate students at The Ohio State University joined 50 other schools across the country in protest on Wednesday. Their target was the House version of the GOP tax plan - specifically, a provision that would tax the tuition wavers that graduate student receive in exchange for working at the university.

Updated at 12:01 ET Nov. 16

There are a lot of anxious graduate students at universities around the country right now.

That's because to help pay for more than $1 trillion in tax cuts for U.S. corporations, the House Republican tax plan would raise taxes on grad students in a very big way. These students make very little money to begin with. And many would have to pay about half of their modest student stipends in taxes.

University Hall at Ohio State University
Wikipedia

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that graduate students working as research and teaching assistants at private universities must be recognized as faculty with the right to form unions. The ruling does not affect grad students at public universities like Ohio State.