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New Tax Bill Could Be Bad News For Cash-Strapped College Students

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- University of California-Berkeley graduate students Kathy Shield and Vetri Velan have run the numbers when it comes to the new tax bill and the math doesn't look too good.

The House version of the tax bill would eliminate the deduction for tuition grants.

In Velan's case it would add a $1,000 tax on his $13,000 tuition grant.

"This affects me by taxing the tuition waiver I get," he said. "This is money that affects me. It's tough to live in the Bay Area."

Shield is among a group of UC-Berkeley students who have created a tax calculator to let cash-strapped students know what new challenges they may face.

"We created a tax calculator that lets students know what the tax impacts are going to be," she said.

The group is also organizing a walk out in conjunction with students at at least 50 other universities nationwide to protest the tax proposal. They will also be manning phone banks to calls their local members of Congress.

Sheild said she was worried that the new tax law may force some students to drop out. It's a sentiment Velan shares.

"I think what you are going to see is people not going to graduate school as much," he said. "And international students stay in their home countries."

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