Why Graduate Students at UT, SMU and Beyond Fear House GOP Tax Plan Would Hit Them Hard

WASHINGTON — The laboratory. Class. More lab time. Homework. Mentoring several freshman students. More lab work. More homework. Helping run a student government group. More time in the lab.That’s a typical week for University of Texas at Austin graduate student Samantha Fuchs, whose pursuit of a Ph.D. in engineering earns her a $20,000-plus stipend and a waiver of tuition.But the House GOP tax bill could upset that balancing act by starting to tax the tuition break that Fuchs and tens of thousands of other graduate students receive in exchange for teaching or doing research. Suddenly, money that those students never see would be treated as taxable income.And for some graduate students — often already struggling to make ends meet — the potential tax hit could be the difference between pursuing an advanced degree or not.“If I hadn’t already started, I would probably reconsider,” said Fuchs, a 24-year-old who grew up in a Chicago suburb.  Continue reading...

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