AERA Calls on Congress to Preserve Graduate Student Tax Benefits

November 2017

AERA recently joined 44 other scientific and engineering societies in urging Congress to preserve graduate student tax benefits within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), specifically sections 117(d), 117(d)(5), and 127.

Currently, the proposed tax legislation includes language to repeal the student loan interest deduction, graduate student tuition waivers, the Hope Scholarship Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and educational assistance programs.

Repealing these changes will not only increase the financial burden for graduate students, but significantly impact the sciences. A majority of graduate students specialize in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). A likely result of repealing these benefits is that more students will be deterred from seeking higher education and conducting graduate level research.

The letter in part reads:

“U.S. scientific and technological ingenuity has helped to make our nation one of the most innovative in the world and generated tremendous economic benefit to our country. This inventive spirit starts with people and ideas – and it is our higher-education system that has fostered the development of inventors, entrepreneurs, Nobel Laureates, and business leaders. Repealing the very provisions that allow graduate students to continue to study in critical STEM fields means that we will be shutting the door on new opportunities for discovery, exploration and innovation.”

AERA is home to more than 7,700 student members, including approximately 7,500 graduate students. Students represent more than 30 percent of all AERA members.

To read the letter, click here

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