So here's the deal:

There are a lot of anxious graduate students at universities around the country right now.

That's because to help pay for more than $1 trillion in tax cuts for U.S. corporations, the House Republican tax plan would raise taxes on grad students in a very big way. These students make very little money to begin with. And many would have to pay about half of their modest student stipends in taxes.
Basically, it's really common for graduate students to work for the university as T.A.s or R.As. etc. They get a modest stipend, and often, their tuition and fees, and sometimes a student health fee, are waived.

They've always been responsible for paying income taxes on the stipend; it's an actual pay check.

But they've not had to pay taxes on the tuition waiver. The GOP proposes charging standard income taxes on it.

But at a lot of schools, the tuition waiver on paper is a lot of money. 50,000.00 or even more, for in state "local" students. More for out of state.

So if you're at a school that pays graduate students c. 30-40K a year for their work, the tuition is going to be a big taxable income increase. Schools like MIT pay that in the sciences. Humanities grad students are often paid less.

It's not like you're getting rich, mind. Nor are you being paid the actual value of your work as "apprentice personnel."

Here are the pay scales for the apprentice personnel stipends at UCLA. It doesn't include tuition and fees, which are waived.

Keep in mind:

* You're not allowed to work on campus/for UCLA for more than 20 hours/week and be considered a full time student, so look at 50%.
* 50% time for an English Ph.D. student for most means teaching two sections (20-30, max in a section) of English comp classes a quarter.
You're responsible for everything, including creating the syllabus, creating assignments, grading, lecturing, and office hours. You're absolutely working more than 20 hours/week, but you're paid for 20.

That stipend pays for food, rent, transportation, textbooks, medical expenses, utility bills, everything.

It's pretty common for a full time student to have a T.A. ship or R.A.ship, and some part time or off campus side job.
You are paid for the actual classes/quarters you work. So at most, you're going to have UCLA income for 38 weeks out of 50.
So a lot of people also have GSL; which are interest charging, and typically, they already have loans for undergrad.

Being taxed on the tuition stipend will make it impossible for a lot of students who don't have parental support to go to graduate school.

We're already turning out people with Ph.D.s, DDS, MDs, DVMs, who graduate and start their career with thousands in debt from student loans.