November 19, 2017

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House GOP Tax Plan Would Hit Grad Students With Massive Tax Hike

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Students Kate Shulenberger (left) and Sarah Goodman on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Graduate Student Council plan a “call your congressman” event on campus. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Chris Arnold/NPR

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.

“The past week this is what I’ve been talking about with other graduate students and classmates. I think we’re all shocked,” says Tamar Oostrom. She’s in her third year of getting her Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She and her classmates have been crunching the numbers. “This bill would increase our tax by 300 or 400 percent. I think it’s absolutely crazy,” Oostrom says.

In exchange for helping to teach courses or working with professors on research projects, MIT gives students such as

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