What is in the latest stimulus package for college students?

After two stimulus packages with no direct payments for dependent college students, the latest stimulus package about to pass through Congress will finally include them.

If students filed their own taxes in 2019 or 2020, they should be eligible for the $1400 direct payment, as well as the previous $600 and $1200 stimulus checks.  

Students that are claimed as dependents by their parents will now be eligible for the $1400 as well, however the payments will go directly to their parents.

If you haven’t filed taxes in 2020 yet and want to do so as an individual, you may qualify for your own stimulus payment but there are no guarantees (be sure to do your research because there may be tax implications of no longer being claimed as a dependent).

When can I expect to receive the payments?

The bill should be signed into law sometime soon, meaning the payments would start being disbursed in the second half of March. 

As with the last stimulus checks, if you have direct deposit set up with the IRS, your payment will arrive much sooner than a physical check. Set up that direct deposit here.

What about student loan cancellation?

This stimulus package is setting the stage for student loan cancellation. There’s a provision that makes student loan forgiveness tax-free through December 2025, which can help a ton of borrowers save money on an income-based repayment plan. 

In a lot of cases when debt gets cancelled, the borrower can be left with expensive and unaffordable tax liability. This tax-free provision makes it so if student loan debt was cancelled on a nationwide basis, borrowers wouldn’t be held accountable for insane taxes on it.

However, there is no timeline for student loan cancellation moving through Congress just yet. 

And if I’m on unemployment?

Federal unemployment benefits are extended through September 6th, at $300 a week. That is on top of the benefits you should already be receiving from your state.

Anything else I need to know?

This plan also directs $40 billion to public colleges and universities to create COVID-safe learning plans, emergency financial assistance for qualifying students and support mental health and safe social programs. 

Learn more about managing your money in college