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Colleen O’Dea

The Republican tax-reform package targets benefits taken by New Jerseyans in college and grad school — and their families


Austin Baker, a fourth-year doctoral student at Rutgers, said this change alone could force thousands of grad students across the country to abandon their studies and their teaching or research positions by pushing them into higher tax brackets and making it impossible to both pay income taxes and housing and food costs.

“I am very worried about what will happen if the bill goes through,” said Baker. “I’m worried about how I would pay my own rent. Any money I have now is really tight … We already are not being paid much.”

Add to that a typical grad student’s loan burden — the average American graduate student has $42,000 in outstanding loans — and the loss of the ability to deduct interest paid on the loan and it becomes truly impossible to make ends meet, Baker added.


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