College students across the country are sitting in their childhood bedrooms, logging into their 8 a.m. classes from a zoom call, after being sent home for the rest of the semester. Clearly, no one was expecting to be watching global pandemic news flood social media when we should have been streaming March Madness games.
Students are in a unique situation in this crisis. Some students are not getting refunds for the on-campus housing they just lost for the rest of the year. Most are paying full tuition for classes that are now strictly online, cancelled or put on a pass/fail process. Many lost their on-campus jobs and now have no source of income.
With the news changing every five minutes, it’s hard to know how much this is going to affect college students in the long-run. We’re keeping tabs on the situation and we’re going to do our best to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to get through this.
Updated: April 15th
Are college students able to get the $1200 stimulus checks from the government?
It all comes down to taxes. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. You’re eligible if:
• You've filed your personal taxes under your own name for 2019 (this tax year) or 2018.
• The income on your last tax return was less than $75,000 (if you made more, you might get a partial check)
If your parents have claimed you as a dependent, you probably aren't eligible to receive a check. Be sure to talk with them and see where you stand tax-wise. Unfortunately, your parents also won’t receive a child credit either if you’re over the age of 17. Seems like Congress forgot about the 18-24 year-old college students when they were writing this one.
Pro tip: if you have filed your taxes, make sure you connect your bank account to the IRS website - electronic checks might get out sooner than physical checks.
Where is my stimulus payment?
The first checks from the CARES Act went out on April 15th, 2020. If you still aren't seeing the money in your account, still aren't sure if you are getting this check, or need to add your bank account information for direct deposit, head over to the IRS website.
What does this mean for my student loans?
Your student loans are not accruing interest until September 30th and federal loan providers are working to put that into effect automatically. If you can afford to do so, now is a great time to start paying down some of that principal on your loans because they aren't accruing interest. If you graduated recently and you’re about to enter your repayment period, your loans are eligible for something called administrative forbearance. Basically, you won’t have to make any payments on your loans until then. Check with your federal loan provider for details but the forebearance should be put into effect automatically. You can read more about that here.
What happens if I was on federal work study at school?
If you were on a Federal Work Study program and your school went fully remote, they may continue to pay you as if you were working your regularly scheduled hours. So long as they are continuing to pay their faculty and staff, they are required to continue to pay you.
Can you file for unemployment if you were working part-time?
Yes, you can file for unemployment if you were working part-time, freelancing or doing something like driving for Lyft or running Postmates orders. However, how much you can get paid is on a state-by-state basis. The stimulus package for COVID-19 has expanded unemployment benefits by a great deal so we recommend searching for your state’s unemployment eligibility.
Be sure to share with your friends that may not know.