COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- The fight continues over tax reform. The latest plan put together by the GOP is sending shockwaves through colleges across the country.
On Monday, a group of graduate students at Ohio State are planning a major rally to speak out against the plan. They are expressing real concerns about the future of education.
Jenna Freudenburg has always dreamed of becoming an astronomer. Ohio State’s graduate school was her number one choice. Freudenburg has been able to afford classes thanks in part to stipend’s and a tution waiver.
"I would really love to stay in academia, to teach at the university level and also to continue to do research," said Freudenburg.
However, Freudenburg now has major worries over the GOP’s latest tax plan. The proposal is having an impact on graduate students at OSU and across the country.
"Our take home pay could be significantly reduced because of this," said student Jahmour Givens.
As a part of the plan, graduate students’ tuition waivers would be counted as income. Freudenburg and Givens are expressing major frustrations.
"I think it would really be a blow to Ohio State's ability to recruit quality students," said Freudenburg.
According to Freudenburg, the typical OSU stipend for grad students is around $20,000, with tuition in the range of $30,000 . She told ABC 6/FOX 28 under the GOP’s tax proposal, a students’ taxable income would jump to the range of $40,000 to $50,000. The tax bill for a student Freudenburg claims would jump from $500 to nearly $4,500. The numbers would vary.
"Our taxes could more than triple, which is just astounding," said Givens.
Students fear this would not only affect their ability to pay for school, but prevent some students from attending.
"I've even heard some of my peers in the past week saying if this goes through and nothing is done about, it we're going to have to drop out and not finish our degrees," said Freudenburg.
Freudenburg and Givens are part of a group planning a protest on OSU’s campus Monday. The group is urging lawmakers to think twice before approving the idea.
"It's really going to limit access. If you don't already have money, you're really going to have a hard time paying for graduate school and supporting yourself," Freudenburg said.
The student demonstration is set for Monday at 2:30 p.m..