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College students will finally get stimulus checks, but there's a catch

Earlier rounds of checks skipped people age 17-21
Posted at 12:04 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 21:11:30-04

One of the biggest complaints about last year's two rounds of stimulus checks: college students, and even some high school students, did not qualify.

This time, that is finally going to change, when it comes to the third, and largest, stimulus.

Students at the University of Cincinnati, like Savannah Burhanny, are celebrating the news that they may finally receive stimulus checks.

"I'm excited," Burhanny said. "I hope to get it so I can pay for my college next year, with my stimulus check."

For the first time, she now qualifies for a check, in this case $1,400.

She didn't last year.

Why students were left out until now

With the first two rounds of checks, it didn't matter if you were struggling to pay your own way through college.

As long as you were claimed as a dependent, and were age 17 to 21, there was no stimulus for you due to a glitch in the program (children age 16 and under each received smaller checks).

"This past summer, a lot of us lost jobs and we were all struggling, too," Rachel Dorsey said. "Just because we are dependents doesn't mean we don't have struggles."

Her friend Ben Menoni was upset about being left out last year.

"I think it's a little ridiculous," he said. "A lot of us do have expenses of our own, and our parents aren't always able to help us out with that."

This time, students 17 and older who are claimed as dependents will qualify for $1,400.

Why you may still not get a check

But before you order pizza, there are two catches:

  • One: The money goes to Mom and Dad, not directly to the student.
  • Two: If the parents earn more than $160,000 dollars a year combined (or if one is a single parent earning more than $80,000), the student still won't qualify, no matter how broke that student may feel.

One more downside for many students: this newest stimulus package does not include student loan forgiveness.

But President Biden and congressional leaders are hoping to approve $10,000 in loan forgiveness later this year, though that too is expected to have income limits, based on the parents' earnings.

As always, don't waste your money.


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