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News & Media

APLU In The News

December 14, 2017
Senate and House negotiators meeting this week to craft compromise tax-reform legislation plan to exclude from a final bill some controversial proposals affecting students and colleges, according to multiple reports. Lawmakers from the two chambers of Congress agreed to drop provisions that would treat graduate student tuition benefits as taxable income and repeal student loan interest deductions. Both provisions were included in House tax legislation passed last month but left out of a bill that narrowly cleared the Senate Dec. 2.
December 13, 2017
After debating and voting on amendments all day Tuesday, the House education committee advanced to the full chamber on a party-line vote a rewrite of the federal law governing higher education in the U.S. The legislation, called the PROSPER Act, would change accountability for colleges and universities, alter the student financial aid landscape, and loosen restrictions on short-term and for-profit programs.
December 13, 2017
After subtracting student fees and paying for insurance, doctoral student Tom Millay takes home about $15,000 per year from a Baylor University stipend. But soon he could be taxed as though he earns three times more. Millay, who is studying religion and works as graduate assistant at Baylor, is one of thousands of doctoral students in Texas and beyond watching nervously as Congressional Republicans iron out the details of their tax cut bill. In exchange for his teaching duties, Millay receives free tuition — a $30,000 savings — and an annual stipend of $20,000. If lawmakers approve the House version of the bill, tuition waivers like his would be marked as taxable income, causing a major financial hit for him and thousands of graduate students like him.
December 11, 2017
Jeff Tischauser’s dream of a university teaching career seemed within reach in 2013, when he was accepted into UW-Madison’s doctoral program in journalism and mass communication. To join the program, Tischauser, 36, said he took a big pay cut from his past career teaching at community colleges. Now, with a year and a half left to finish his doctoral dissertation, Tischauser faces an unexpected wrinkle: a tax overhaul being debated in Congress that he fears could give him a whopping tax increase by taxing the tuition waivers he and other graduate students receive. Tischauser said he already has little financial wiggle room: his take-home pay is about $25,000, he said, from a university stipend plus his side gigs, which include adjunct faculty work at an online college and working as a sales rep for a cheesemaker.
December 11, 2017
Knewton, a pioneer in adaptive learning technology, will launch its first direct product for higher education in January. Previously the company provided the technology behind several other companies' adaptive learning products, but now Knewton is changing its strategy and selling its product to colleges directly. The name of Knewton’s proprietary offering hasn't been announced, but it has been piloted at more than 150 institutions, the company said. The product, described as a complete textbook replacement, began piloting early this year and was tested in beta in 2016. Using open education resources, Knewton offers courseware that both instructs and assesses students using adaptive learning technology.
December 6, 2017
As the competing Republican tax plans from the House of Representatives and the Senate head to a conference committee that will square the differences and create a final piece of legislation, graduate students are worried. A group of 40 or so activists and graduate students, organized in part by Faculty Forward and the Service Employees International Union, took their concerns to Capitol Hill Tuesday in a protest outside the office of Representative Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House. Upon coming to the office’s locked door, the protesters held their demonstration in the hallway.
December 6, 2017
Eight graduate students were arrested Tuesday protesting the Republican tax plan outside the Capitol Hill office of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the latest demonstration against legislation that students fear will make their education less affordable. Graduate students say their taxes will skyrocket if a proposal to treat their tuition benefits as income makes it into the final version of the legislation. Universities waive tuition for graduate students willing to work as teaching and research assistants. Those waivers are exempt from taxation, but House Republicans want that to end.
December 4, 2017
If you have children and plan to put them through college, the tuition checks you will eventually write may add up to the largest expense you will ever face. Picking the right college will be one of the most emotionally complex financial decisions of your life. But if you want to know what your children might earn one day if they pursue a particular major at a certain school, comprehensive data covering all students is not available to you. In fact, it’s illegal to collect it.
November 30, 2017
CNN
Many Ph.D. students studying science, technology, engineering and math receive tuition waivers. That means their tuition is covered, and that money isn't taxed as long as the student does research or teaches for the university.
November 30, 2017
A State College-based agricultural startup founded by a State College Area High School and Penn State graduate was recently selected to participate in an innovation showcase in Washington, D.C.