Opinion: COVID-19 stimulus checks

By: Alexis Burkett

Multimedia Journalist

This past week, stimulus checks were disbursed to most individuals across the country who filed taxes. The checks were the result of a federal effort to ease people’s financial burden and stimulate the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The stimulus checks of $1,200 were dispersed to those making up to $75,000 a year and couples earning up to $150,000 per year will receive $2,400. Parents will receive $500 per child under the age of 17. This excludes anyone 18 and older who is still claimed as a dependent on their parent’s taxes.

This left out many college students. Some of these students hold jobs as they continue their education at the college level. Unfortunately, most college jobs are deemed “unessential” during this time. Whether it be in restaurants, retail stores or campus jobs, many students have lost their source of income and are receiving no financial relief from the government.

Photo from CBS News website

I see this as an unfortunate occurrence because I am a college student who is claimed as a dependent. Although I understand that the full $1,200 may not be allotted, I think the best possible situation would have been to distribute $500 to all dependents.

Seeing as college students typically have less responsibility, such as house payments, children and other recurring bills, this group is who I would expect to stimulate the economy the most. Nevertheless, if they are still claimed as dependents then those parents still have financial responsibility for them and are receiving no federal financial help.

Although most dependents have little financial responsibility, parents are just as involved in their responsibilities as they were before the age of 18. I acknowledge that some may not live at home, but college tuition, room, board and meal plans are still expenses that parents often assist with.

The situation for dependents ranges from no financial responsibility to quite a bit. Some parents are able to support their children without those children needing to work, whereas some students who receive help with college tuition still have to work to maintain their lifestyle and live comfortably. It’s a financial blow for both parents and dependents.

Whether it is seen from a student or parents’ perspective, I see the exclusion of dependents over 18 in the stimulus bill as unfair.

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