Thoughts on the stimulus package

Isabella Lee, Staff writer

On Mar. 27, federal lawmakers announced that a $2 trillion stimulus package would be enacted in order to assist those who were struggling due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Eligible Americans would receive $1,200 from this package. However, there were some exceptions. Families would receive $500 for each child under the age of 17 and married couples who filed taxes jointly would receive $2,400.

Even with these special cases, many people have yet to receive their stimulus checks, and one group of people have no chance at receiving the check at all: college students.

Most college students are still tax dependents for their parents, and those who are listed as dependents are unable to receive this check. In addition, most college students are over the age of 17, so their families won’t receive the $500 bonus. Most importantly, many college students don’t have a job, and these stimulus checks are meant for Americans who file taxes, which some college students are unable to do.

A $1,200 check can go a long way for college students, so should we have received the payment as well? I say yes. As a 19-year-old college student who still lives with my parents and doesn’t receive much money outside of holidays, my birthday and work study, having an additional $1,200 in my pocket could do me wonders.

I am sure my fellow college students can agree with me on this, but the biggest thing this extra money could help with would be towards tuition. As most of us are aware, textbooks can get really expensive (do we really need to spend $200+ on a book that will only be used for a semester?), but having the stimulus money could have definitely helped us pay for our books.

The extra $1,200 could also help pay towards any groceries and toiletries that are needed in a student’s living space. The money could help relieve the stresses of paying for meal plans, as well as room and board. It might not look like much, but that could end up being $1,200 that you don’t have to spend paying off student loans and their compounding interest later on. It is a general truth that paying for college, no matter the level, can be extremely difficult in America.

The average cost of higher learning ranges from $3,347 per year for community college to $30,000 per year for graduate school to over $40,000 per year for law school. Only a small percentage of college students do not have to worry about the costs that go towards college, since they can rely on their upper-class family to cover the costs so that they can attend debt-free.

However, the rest of us aren’t as lucky. Most of us have to rely on our parents to pay for our college, which usually leads to them taking out loans, or in the worst case scenario, the students themselves are forced to take out loans, leaving us to start life with thousands of dollars in debt.

While having this stimulus check wouldn’t totally eradicate any future debt, it could definitely help college students get a head start in life. Many people and families have been cheated, having not received their checks nearly half a year after they were promised, but college students were especially led to suffer from our growing debt due to not being eligible to receive it.

We deserved better, and more should have been done to ensure we wouldn’t be left out.