The Coronavirus Aid Package Won't Help All College Students

I'm 19 And Won't Get ANY Help From The Coronavirus Aid Package, Thanks For Nothing, Congress

The $2 trillion stimulus package includes no payouts to dependents over the age of 17.


If you're a college student hoping to cash in on the government's payouts during the coronavirus pandemic, you might be out of luck.

The historic $2 trillion stimulus package will provide no money to Americans over the age of 17 who are claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's 2019 return. For millions of college students and high school seniors, this means no money from the government and likely a total loss of income for the foreseeable future.

As a 19-year old college student claimed as a dependent, I will be one of those millions of young Americans receiving no government assistance during this pandemic.

After being kicked out of their dorm rooms, forced to move back home, fired from their jobs and required to rapidly adjust to online coursework, many college students are reeling from the whiplash of having their entire lives upended. For many, the past three weeks was a constant guessing game of what the university would do next.

Personally, I packed up most of my room in under 24 hours, unsure of when I would be returning, and left a significant amount of my stuff in my dorm because of mixed messages from the university. I have no idea when I'll be able to get my stuff back or even when I am allowed to go back to campus. My sister, a senior in college, was told at noon that she had to drive three hours back to school to pack up her room before 11 p.m. that same night or risk not being able to get back into her dorm for the rest of the semester.

Study abroad students were expected to pack up a semester's worth of items and fly across the world back to their home with less than 24-hour notice in some cases. Students with unstable housing situations back in their hometown had a matter of hours to make major life decisions about where to go for the next few weeks (or months, or year). Many students have lost the only source of income they had in the form of their on- or off-campus job. Some are still paying for off-campus housing despite having to move out. Several universities have left room and board refunds up in the air, leaving thousands of dollars in limbo.

Students are still being forced to pay full tuition despite what I can describe in my own first-hand experience as a disconnected, lackluster, and fundamentally inadequate online education that is worth a fraction of the steep price tag that accompanies it.

Many colleges, including my own, have moved to optional pass/fail grading for courses because they know that the quality of education and the work that students put in is just not equivalent to the on-campus experience.

The government has afforded some peace of mind to college students and recent graduates with temporary relief for student loan borrowers. Most federal student loan payments have been paused through September 30 and there will be 0 percent interest on them through at least May 20. However, private loan payments (which constitute 12 percent of all student loan debt in the U.S.) are still continuing. Federal Family Education Loans and Perkins loans are still required to be paid as usual under the new law. A proposal to cancel upwards of $10,000 of student loan debt per borrower failed to garner bipartisan support in Congress and was left out of the final stimulus package, ensuring that not a dime of government money goes to support financially-unstable students and recent graduates during this crisis.

The financial uncertainty that is permeating the consciousness of American college students has prompted additional anxiety during the pandemic. While I did not personally have a job on my campus, my heart breaks for those students who relied on their on-campus jobs (or part-time jobs in the surrounding area of their school) for income. I did file taxes the past two years because of a job that I hold at home and sometimes do remotely while at school; however, I (and millions of other tax-paying college students) are still unable to claim financial independence.

Unable to file for the unemployment plan in the stimulus because of limited hours and unable to receive government compensation because of their dependency status, millions of college students are losing out on crucial opportunities to earn and save money.

Students who worked hard to earn competitive internships and summer positions now find that those opportunities have vanished, along with the paycheck that accompanied them. Students who rely on on-campus resources like counseling, health services, support groups, and other university-funded programs are struggling to find replacements for these often life-saving resources.

College students deserve a payout from the government stimulus package just as much as any other American.

Students enrolled in universities across the country were among the first Americans to have their lives turned upside down by this crisis, and the government has largely turned their back to their financial needs. Many students are missing out on crucial income and on-campus resources in addition to the priceless memories that accompany the college experience. It should not be the case that parents receive $500 for a 16-year old dependent but $0 for a 17-year old dependent.

In failing to include college students in the stimulus bill, the government has failed to provide financial protection for one of the demographics most vulnerable to layoffs and the overall financial limbo that this pandemic has created. Five hundred dollars is the least the government could do to provide some financial comfort to ailing college students.

Report this Content

The House Might Pass Another Stimulus Bill And College Students Are STILL Not Getting Checks

Instead of parents receiving only $500 for every dependent in their family, they would receive $1,200 per family member and up to $6,000 per household.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have drafted up another coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus bill that would eclipse the first as the largest economic stimulus legislation in U.S. history.

Keep Reading... Show less

Federal Leadership Is Crucial During A Health Crisis — And Trump Is A Truly Terrible Leader

Without nationwide agreement, it is impossible to make any lasting impactful fight against the virus.

New per-day cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) are finally starting to decrease in New York, but other states across the nation are preparing to reopen. The CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci say one thing, and Trump says another.

Keep Reading... Show less

The 9 Americans Doing The Worst Job Of Handling The Coronavirus Pandemic

All of these people are creating an environment where the virus can spread freely and openly.

There have now been nearly 80,000 confirmed deaths from coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. That is an incredibly alarming number given the number of global deaths is about 285,000.

While the pandemic has been handled poorly by our president, there are a number of other Americans doing a bad job at handling the pandemic and possibly even spreading it further.

Keep Reading... Show less

I'm A Proud Michigander, But These Stay-At-Home Protestors Are A National Embarrassment

I take it personally — each protester, each gun, each Confederate flag.

I was born in the Great Lakes State and I intend to die in the Great Lakes State. I live for those drives up M-22 to my friends' lake houses. All I want to do is be on a boat right now. I love everything that Michigan has to offer, and I wouldn't want to spend my days anywhere else (despite the fact that I go to school in Ohio).

That being said, I'm embarrassed.

If you've seen the news, hundreds of gun-toting, Confederate-flag-waving dickheads stormed the Michigan capitol to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's extension of her "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Headlines From May 2020 That Remind You Coronavirus Isn't The Only Bad News Going On Right Now

These stories have been difficult to swallow, generally appalling, and unbelievable.

With coronavirus locking down the majority of Americans to their local communities, we've seen local news turn into more major and national headlines.

Keep Reading... Show less

In America, The Police Only Shoot Protestors Who Can't Fire Back, Not Those Armed With Assault Rifles

Police officers use extreme force against protestors who can't fire back, but not against those who are truly armed and dangerous.

George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died on Monday after being pinned down by a police officer.

Keep Reading... Show less

Trump Spending 266 Days Playing Golf Is Another Reason His Presidency Has Been Subpar

Trump criticized Barack Obama for golfing while president, but over the same period of time has actually spent more time golfing than his predecessor.

President Donald Trump has historically criticized Barack Obama for golfing while president. However, over the same period of time, Trump has actually spent more time golfing than his predecessor.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments