Third Stimulus Payments: A Boon or a Bust for Dependent Students?

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The third round of stimulus checks, valued at $ 1,400, are being distributed, and unlike the first two rounds of government payments, filers to receive payments for dependents over 17, provided all other conditions are met. Self-employed college-aged filers remain eligible and will receive their funds directly.

Students at New Haven University responded with varying degrees of enthusiasm. For Kayla Edgeworth, a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Public Administration, the third round of payments couldn’t have come at a better time.

“I’m currently waiting for my new job to start, so it’s nice not to have to be so stressed about bills for the immediate future,” said Edgeworth.

While the additional funds are beneficial to students, some feel that the financial assistance is not as substantial as they would have liked. The threat of future loan repayments upon graduation looms in the distance for students graduating in June.

Senior Criminal Justice Major Marita Galliher plans to allocate the money to pay off some of the private loans she’s racked up to get to New Haven.

She said she would like to be able to use it recreationally, but after not being included in the first two sets of checks because she is a dependent over 17, she prefers to place the money where she feels she needs it most.

“Honestly, I don’t think it will even reduce a lot of my stress because it will only be a small dent in the total loans I have taken,” said Galliher. “University is so expensive that 1,400 is not a lot – considering everything. I can’t imagine what it is like for struggling families right now.

Parents and legal guardians will receive the money on behalf of their dependents. However, some students are not so optimistic that they will actually be able to see the funds for themselves. Parents or guardians are not required to pass funds on to their dependents, even if they are over the age of 18.

“Since I’m a dependent, the money is going to be distributed to my parents, who have already told me that I won’t see any of this,” said Elizabeth Ford, senior major in marine biology.

Ford did not receive the first two payments and was disappointed to learn that her payment was embedded in her parents’ funds rather than being distributed directly. She also said she took care of most of her own expenses while in school.

“It’s frustrating, but there’s really nothing I can do about it,” Ford said. “I would really love to spend this money on my own expenses, but I know they are just going to spend it on something for my younger brother.

Other students were able to discuss with their parents how best to use the stimulus money. Senior communications manager Devinh Valentine said he felt lucky his mother agreed to share his first two stimulus payments with him. Now he says he’s going to return the favor by giving her some of his own.

“I’m going to use the rest to pay my credit cards since the rent on my apartment is paid until the end of my lease,” said Valentine. However, he also said the payment did not bring him any real lasting economic relief.

“It’s nice to have [short-term] relief, don’t get me wrong, ”he said. “But with COVID-19, I haven’t really been able to save as much money as I wanted and if I were to be hospitalized for some reason that would be a problem.”



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