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OHA joins 30+ organizations to issue statement opposing US proposal to tax graduate student tuition waivers

Today the Oral History Association along with more than 30 other learned societies, issued a joint statement in opposition to the proposal to tax graduate school tuition waivers as income, a provision included in the tax reform bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives. The statement reads as follows:

We the undersigned organizations, stand together in opposition to the proposal to tax graduate school tuition waivers as income, a provision included in the tax reform bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives.

As reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education,

“Nationwide about 55 percent of all graduate students had adjusted gross incomes of $20,000 or less…and nearly 87 percent reported incomes of $50,000 or less. At the same time, master’s-degree students received tuition waivers averaging nearly $11,000, and doctoral students got waivers averaging more than $13,600.”

Subjecting tuition waivers to income tax would dramatically increase the tax burden of hundreds of thousands of students. This would put graduate education out of reach for many, and would have the greatest impact on those groups already underrepresented in higher education.

The provision would also likely force graduate schools to reduce the number of students they admit, so that they can compensate for increased tax liability with increased financial assistance to students in their programs. Reducing the number of students in graduate schools would have devastating effects across higher education and beyond—there would be fewer instructors to teach undergraduates and fewer researchers to pursue new breakthroughs that transform every aspect of American society.

We call on Members of Congress to reject this proposal and stand up for the future of American higher education. We further urge the members of our organizations to contact their Members of Congress and encourage them to act to ensure tuition waivers remain tax-free.

African Studies Association

American Academy of Religion

American Anthropological Association

American Association of Geographers

American Comparative Literature Association

American Folklore Society

American Historical Association

American Musicological Society

American Philosophical Association

American Society for Environmental History

American Sociological Association

American Studies Association

Association for Asian Studies

Association for Jewish Studies

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Association of College & Research Libraries

College Art Association

International Center for Medieval Art

Latin American Studies Association

Medieval Academy of America

Modern Language Association

National Communication Association

National Council of Teachers of English

Oral History Association

Organization of American Historians

Rhetoric Society of America

Shakespeare Association of America

Society for American Music

Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Society for Classical Studies

Society for Ethnomusicology

Society of Architectural Historians

Society of Biblical Literature

World History Association

 

 

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