Hultgren joins fellow lawmakers fighting to save graduate tuition waivers
The tax reform bill in Congress is divisive on many levels, including when it comes to waivers for graduate students against high taxes on their tuition.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed in the House of Representatives on Nov. 16, would repeal the income exclusion if President Trump signed the legislation as it is currently written.
U.S Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) joined 30 members of Congress who composed and signed a letter to congressional leaders including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Hultgren’s role as co-chair of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Caucus makes him especially concerned with the waivers as the majority of them help students who are seeking STEM-related advanced degrees.
“I have seen firsthand from post-docs at Fermilab in Batavia to graduate students at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb how valuable these students are to American research, and how valuable these experiences are to their education and growth,” Hultgren said in a press release. “These tools should remain untouched as we continue focusing tax relief to hard working families and future generations.”
If the waiver program is repealed in the final tax reform bill, graduate students could see taxable income increase anywhere from $12,000 to $50,000. The Congressional signees of this letter believe if the waivers are repealed, students who otherwise qualify for STEM graduate classes would not seek a degree, leading to America losing its competitive stance in STEM research and development on a worldwide scale.