Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: will university students miss out?

With the Republican relief package expected to be announced in the next few days, there is one group of young adults keen to know if they've been included.

Segundo cheque estímulo: ¿los universitarios podrían quedar fuera del pago?

Once again, university students could be left out of the second Economic Impact Payment just as they missed out on the first round. With news expected in the coming days of what is to be included, many of those students will be hoping that they have not been left out again.

Stimulus check for university students

After the delay to announcing the relief package that should help individuals, families and businesses struggling to deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we appear to now be just days away. Of course, the initial sharing of the Republican plans is only the next step in it being negotiated and then signed into law.

We already know, or have a good idea, what will be included in the package, but despite the insistence of several members of Congress to include university students in this second round of payments, the reality is believed to be that they will not be.

Until we have the proposal laid firmly on the table, we are unable to confirm for certain. That said, much of what has been hinted at thus far suggests that there will be a significant amount of repetition of the previously delivered CARES Act. When that was signed off back in March, qualified university students were deemed ‘dependents’ and thus did not get a payment directly. Their parents were entitled to an additional $500 per dependent, but only if the child was under 17. This left an unfortunate, and potentially devastating, financial void for some households.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has already confessed that by going down a similar path to the CARES Act - something Republicans had been hoping to avoid but with Covid-19 infection rates far from disappearing have little choice - and this will see college students omitted once again. This includes those who work part-time and don't pay taxes.

Chief of Staff to US President Donald J. Trump Mark Meadows (L) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (R) speak to the media about the next coronavirus stimulus package.

Students with jobs

Analysis suggests that around 64% of US students have work of some sort, and of those 40% are full-time, even without filing taxes. For many, it is disrespectful to leave university students out of the second round of checks as they too had their income hit as the economy - including many summer jobs - came to a halt.

The student demographic were included in the Democrats’ proposal of the HEROES Act. This did make it through a vote in the House of Representatives but was immediately rejected by most Republicans because they considered the $3 trillion package too steep and would add too much to the debt burden, as well as other factors such as not encouraging people to return to work.

Students, and their families, will be keeping a close eye on proceedings over the coming days.