Letter: Over-taxing graduate, doctoral students not the answer

Over-taxing graduate, doctoral students not the answer

The proposed GOP tax bill passed in the House this week takes a brazen approach to a very real problem: student loan debt. Specifically, graduate and doctoral students could no longer write off student loan interest when filing taxes. Access to higher education is a driving factor in many fields: medicine, biology, engineering, business, etc. For students often working at their universities doing research, clinicals, etc., in exchange for a stipend that has to cover tuition as well as living, this would be decimating.

My name is Lauren Jerew and I reside in Homer. I am a small business owner and graduate student myself, and I genuinely understand concern about the growing student debt in this country. However, we need to teach high school students budget management, responsible borrowing, and strive to at least plateau the ever-increasing cost of higher education – NOT punish those seeking to advance research, medicine, economics, etc. Prospective students will be tempted to look outside of the United States for their education, and likely at least part of their professional careers. These students, their research, and findings are not resources the U.S. can afford to lose if we hope to remain on the forefront of scientific and medical advancement.

I express my disappointment in both Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan in passing this short-sighted, damaging bill. Additionally, I implore Rep. Young to recognize the long term ramifications of the proposed tax bill on students.

Lauren Jerew