GOP lawmakers abandon proposed graduate tuition tax

The final version of the GOP’s sweeping tax bill will not include a controversial tax on tuition waivers for graduate students.

Congressional Republicans unveiled the final version of the bill Friday, which is expected to pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the coming days. Republican leaders scrapped a proposal, included in the House bill passed last month, to classify tuition waivers given to graduate students as taxable income, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Senate version of the bill, passed earlier this month, did not include the provision and it was not included in the final negotiations to combine the two bills.

Graduate students at GW said if it passed, the tax would strain their ability to pay for a graduate education by forcing them to pay thousands of dollars more each year on their tax bills.

Higher education groups lined up in opposition to the bill and officials said they feared that if the tax was included in the final bill, it would threaten the financial well-being of the University by discouraging graduate students from enrolling.

Last week two graduate students were arrested protesting the tax bill outside House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office on Capitol Hill.

“Folks who are in grad school will feel pretty good about the final result,” Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., told Bloomberg earlier this week.

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