UL Lafayette graduate students fear GOP tax plan

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Scenes like these played out across the USA on Wednesday, as hundreds of graduate students walked out in protest of the House Republican tax plan.

The Senate version of the tax bill, which is expected to go to a vote on Thursday or Friday, keeps the tax exemption on tuition waivers and does not include numerous provisions in the House version that most directly impact students.

The Campaign to Organize Graduate Students and University of Iowa students and faculty members gathered on the Pentacrest to protest the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Wednesday. Some GOP lawmakers, referencing concerns from their constituents, have said they want to reach a "positive solution" on tuition waivers.

Many students fear that this bill could affect the accessibility of higher education and diversity within universities.

The administration of the university has informed students that a meeting on 7 December will discuss the increase in tuition fees, however, students say they will continue the protest until their demands are met.

Many grad students are already living at or below the poverty line, with reports that many can not afford groceries without food stamps. "Tax the rich - not the students", protesters chanted.

The silent "work-in" was allegedly staged "to demonstrate how vital" the work of Penn graduate students is. "They need to be calling Sens".

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The increase would eat up more than half of Hogan's stipend. "For many graduate students, this could mean the end of their education", Hadley said. "We have to make sure that we do not let them convince us that we are too privileged as graduate workers to fight".

"Not every PhD student has a family that can financially support and even pay for their education".

As she started to do the math, tears welled up.

"I think it can really be crippling for some", Strietzel said. If passed, the Senate versions would be reconciled with the House bill for a final vote in both chambers.

As a fifth-year doctoral student in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Lin receives a stipend of about $30,000. Students protested at all nine of UC's undergraduate campuses Wednesday.

"Students are pleased to see that the government is committed to addressing financial barriers to a post-secondary education", Reed Larsen, VP External of the University of Alberta Students' Union and Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS), said in a press release. The bill would repeal the deduction for interest on student loans, which 12 million taxpayers claimed in 2015.

English Department Graduate Chair David Eng said the GOP tax bill and the immigration stances of the Trump administration are discouraging global students from pursuing graduate studies in the United States. However, it is now not part of the bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

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