President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion-dollar American Rescue Plan stimulus package is one of the largest relief bills in American history and is the third economic relief bill passed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike previous iterations, college students and other dependents over the age of 17 will also receive payments.
College students whose parents’ adjusted gross income is less than $150,000 qualify to receive the $1,400 payment from the government. Payments are diminished for families whose adjusted gross income is more than $150,000 and are denied for families with an adjusted gross income of $160,000 or higher.
The stimulus check for students whose parents claim them as dependents will be delivered to their parents. Payments are being administered via direct deposit, prepaid benefits card or paper check —whichever way tax returns were received by the individual in 2018 or 2019. Americans can track their payment on the I.R.S.’ stimulus-tracker site at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment
Student loan payments and interest are still frozen through Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. The new bill also forgives all student debt if it was accrued after Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, and any debt forgiven through Thursday, Jan. 1, 2026 will not be considered taxable. This will save student-borrowers thousands of dollars in taxable income.
Colleges across the country will also receive nearly $40 billion in assistance. At least half of these funds must go to student emergency financial aid, but how these funds are distributed will vary by institution. These payments will most likely arrive in the same fashion as the CARES Act payments administered to students in March of last year.
For those who lost their job during the pandemic, unemployment benefits have been extended to Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. An additional federal payment of $300 per week will also be included, alongside the regular state-determined payments dependent upon a person’s prior income. Part-time, self-employed, freelance, independent contractors and gig workers are also eligible for the program.
The third economic relief package seeks to ease the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic that has been placed on many American families. “This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country, giving people in this nation—working people, middle-class folks, people who built this country—a fighting chance,” Biden said during the official signing of the American Rescue Plan on Thursday, March 11. College students were not unaffected by the pandemic, and this bill will include them as well.