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Monday, November 13, 2017

GOP tax plan to impact higher education
Tennessee in recent years has been pushing education, in particular, college and tech schools through the Tennessee Promise, and soon to be implemented Tennessee ReConnect program. Governor Bill Haslam wants to see 55 percent of adults with a diploma or certificate by 2015. That's Tennessee. But Forbes magazine says the GOP tax plan in Congress would stymie higher education nationwide. For some, the American dream includes years of graduate school and living cheaply, along the journey to a degree. In many fields , the only way this has been possible is through teaching and/or research assistantships, which grant graduate students a small stipend to live on. These assistantships also come with a tuition waiver, and currently these tuition waivers are paid by the college, and are not counted as taxable income. Under the new GOP tax plan, however, those tuition waivers would be taxed as regular income, making graduate school an unaffordable proposition except for those already independently wealthy. That would mean a halt to higher education for most lower and middle income students in Tennessee.


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