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Students across the country are protesting the GOP tax plan: 'It would almost double my tax burden'

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Graduate students across the country walked out of their classrooms on Wednesday to protest the House version of the GOP tax plan.

Our affiliate KVAL spoke to students at the University of Oregon.

"I'm teaching French 101, 102 and 103 this year," said Nicholas Hadley, who is getting his Master's Degree while teaching for the university at the same time. "The benefits were so great, it seemed too hard to resist."

Universities offer Ph.D students free tuition in exchange for work like teaching undergraduate courses.

Under the House proposed tax plan, the amount of tuition waived would become taxable income.

So even though students don't actually receive that money, they'd pay taxes on it.

"It's going to make graduate education unaffordable for many people," PhD student Dani Cosme said.

For example, a graduate student who has $30,000 a year in tuition waived by the university in exchange for work, would pay taxes as if they had earned $30,000 income.

"It would almost double my tax burden," Cosme said.

"It would decrease my monthly income by about $300 to $400," Hadley said.

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Around 145,000 student receive a tuition waiver every year. Now students are worried they won't be able to stay in school because they won't be able to afford the taxes.

"I don't know that it will necessarily make me leave," graduate student Caleb Holt said, "but it will make me not want to continue."

As the clock ticks away on Capitol Hill, students across the country are taking a stand.

They're making phone calls to senators before the big vote, writing postcards, making signs and passing out fliers.

"I have wanted to be a teacher for a very long time," Hadley said. "I've worked very hard and very long to get here, and so to have the rug pulled out all of a sudden is very concerning."

RELATED: Getting a Ph.D.? The House tax reform bill could be your worst nightmare.

Our affiliate KVAL contributed to this report.

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