Currently, these tuition waivers are paid by the college directly to itself, on behalf of the graduate student, and are not counted as taxable income. Under the new GOP tax plan, however, those tuition waivers would be taxed as regular income, making graduate school an unaffordable proposition except for those already independently wealthy….This is money that, as a student, you never see. It’s paid to the University by the University on your behalf, and you don’t pay taxes on it.
This is also money that is never named. My PhD tuition was waived, and nobody ever mentioned any actual figures. The schools that want to attract talented grad students can simply say the amount waived is twenty bucks. This is precisely what will happen because everybody wants the smartest, not the richest, grad students.