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The stimulus package’s impact on college students

Photo by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian

Photo by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian

The United States Congress recently passed a $2 trillion Stimulus Package and the economic relief plan was signed by President Donald Trump.

The largest economic stimulus in U.S. history has relief for those affected by the economic downturn, from citizens to businesses to even state and local governments.

The Stimulus Package

The package has improved unemployment benefits, such as extra money per week for those on unemployment; up to 10 million people have filed for unemployment as a result of the coronavirus’ effect on the economy.

Industries such as healthcare providers and airlines will receive bailout aid. State and local governments will receive $150 billion, with a guarantee $8 billion going to local governments.

Singled adults who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will receive a one-time payment of $1,200 and married couples with no children earning less than $150,000 will receive a total of $2,400.

Payments will decrease in amount as salary increases. The payment will stop altogether for single people earning $99,000 or more, or $198,000 for a married couple.

In the stimulus package, there is money for almost every demographic affected by the poor economy, except college students.

How it affects college students

College students were as excited as anyone else over the fact that they may be receiving a $1,200 check from the Federal Government, but soon found out they may not be eligible. According to the Stimulus Package of 2020, if someone was claimed as a dependent, they are not eligible for the $1,200 check.

A dependent is a “person other than the taxpayer or spouse who entitles the taxpayer to claim a dependency exemption,” according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Most dependents fall into two categories: either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative. Unfortunately for most college students, they often fall under a qualifying child, so most parents claim them as dependents to receive tax benefits.

This means that most college students, many who lost their campus jobs or other nonessential jobs, and many others with student loan debt, are not eligible for the stimulus check.

While it is possible that some college students are either old enough to not be claimed as a qualifying child or have claimed independency on their federal taxes, many college students who need the stimulus check will not be receiving the aid.

Regardless of the reason, the Stimulus Package hardly directly supports college students, many of whom have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus and the economic downturn.

The future economic stability of every demographic remains to be seen, but without direct aid, the economic stability of college students will undoubtedly be worse than originally thought.

Where to get help

Students who are in need can apply for the Wright State Student Emergency Relief Campaign.

You can find the application here>>