The Trump/Republican tax bill would have devastating effects on working people and our families. The proposal to eliminate the tax exempt status of our tuition waivers would more than double the taxable income of most RAs and TAs. This change would undermine affordability and accessibility of graduate school, thus cutting against the idea of a just and inclusive university that we fight for as a union. Check back on this page for updates [click here for an update from November 21st] on the status of the tax bill and the proposed provision to eliminate the tuition waiver exemption.

Contact Congress and tell them to vote against the proposed tax bill

Go here to find the contact information (phone/email/twitter) for your members in Congress.


Hi Senator ___

My name is ___ and I am a graduate student and (RA, TA, etc) at Columbia University. I’m calling to urge you to vote against any reconciled tax reform bill that will tax our tuition waivers.

The House bill provision eliminating the exemption for tuition waivers in section 117(d) of the tax code would more than double my taxable income, as well as the taxable income of nearly 150,000 of my colleagues across the US.

This exemption has existed for many years so that people like myself can afford to attend graduate school by providing critical research and teaching work in exchange for a modest stipend and a non-taxable tuition waiver. The results of this change would be devastating to those who cannot otherwise afford graduate school and would inhibit our universities from recruiting the best and brightest regardless of background or economic means.


HBO Vice News – Episode 239 [November 17, 2017] at 7:15
New York Daily News – Grad students under tax siege
The Nation – The GOP Tax Plan Would Make It Even Harder to Be a Grad Student
Earther – The House GOP Tax Bill Is ‘Truly Horrifying’ For Science Graduate Students
Artsy – Why Graduate Students Are Worried about the Republican Tax Plan
Inside Higher Ed – ‘Taxing a Coupon’


March for Science Graduate Student Tax Waiver Toolkit
Diverse Higher Education Groups Take Aim at GOP Reform Bill
National Association of Graduate-Professional Studies’ Call Congress Day Action and Tool Kit
UAW Region 9A Statement on the Republican proposal to eliminate the tuition waiver tax exemption
March for Science statement