College students who are dependents can now receive stimulus payments



FILE – This May 8, 2008, file photo shows blank checks on an idle press at the Philadelphia Regional Financial Center, which disburses payments on behalf of federal agencies in Philadelphia. Officials at the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service said Friday, March 12, 2021 that processing the new round of stimulus payments has already begun, with the aim of having the first payments start showing up in bank accounts this weekend. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus package was signed into law Thursday afternoon, providing for direct payments of up to $1,400 for Americans. 

The stimulus checks were one of the most prominent initiatives included in the bill, along with extending unemployment benefits and providing money to state and local governments. Democrats hope that this package will provide the necessary funds to households struggling to cover costs as more Americans receive their vaccines and the country continues to battle the effects of Covid-19.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced late Thursday afternoon that the first round of checks could arrive in a matter of days. The majority of Americans should then receive their stimulus payments within the next few weeks. 

The provisions included in the legislation should make it easier for college students to receive payments. Under the new law, individuals with an adjusted gross income of $80,000 or less are eligible to receive a check, plus an additional $1,400 for each dependent child. Dependents were not included in the previous stimulus packages, and the provision allows for the inclusion of millions of Americans who were previously excluded from receiving aid. Democrats say that these $1,400 payments, combined with the $600 approved in December, fulfill a pledge to get $2,000 to millions of Americans.

The Internal Revenue Service will use tax returns on file to determine how much individuals will receive. If recipients have already filed 2020 tax returns, their check will be based on their income from last year. If not, it will most likely be based on their income from 2019. 

Recipients should make sure to file their 2020 tax returns in order to receive aid based on last year’s income. College students who file as independents will still receive their payment based on their most previously filed tax returns.