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Proposed tax reform legislation: Message from the Provost

Office of the Provost

I want to call to your attention one aspect of the proposed tax reform legislation (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act HR 1) now being considered by the US Congress.
The House version of this bill contains a provision that would repeal the current element in our tax code that exempts tuition waivers. The Senate version preserves the tax exemption for tuition waivers. The situation is fluid.
I urge you to inform yourself about the bills if you have not already done so.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has issued a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee that identifies their concerns over the potential impact of HR 1 on higher education.
The Council of Graduate Schools, in collaboration with the American Council on Education, has a page on Tax Reform and Higher Education. This page contains information about HR 1’s impact on graduate students with tuition waivers. In some scenarios, the student’s tax liability could increase by 100 to 150 percent.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Dixie Thompson, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School (, with questions about this issue.
John Zomchick
Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor