College students deserve coronavirus relief aid

COVID-19 brought with it a period of economic hardship that still looms over working class Americans as we enter the second year of the pandemic. Unemployment reached an all-time high, with young people being some of those hit the hardest by the recession.

In March 2020, lawmakers passed the coronavirus relief package to aid workers and businesses impacted by the pandemic. Despite helping millions of people, the package provided nothing for dependents between the ages of 17 to 23, a bracket that includes many college students.

With a third round of relief in the works for February or March, many students wonder if they will qualify for the proposed $1,400 check — which they definitely should.

“I didn’t receive a stimulus check because I was claimed dependent on my mothers taxes,” said Cartersville student Alex Payne, “I think all college students no matter their dependency status should be eligible. Most college students also have jobs. This means we also pay income taxes. Our tax dollars should benefit us. The amount per check should be raised. Income taxes alone in the year 2019 totaled over 1.7 trillion dollars. This proves that there is money in the United States budget to allow for higher amounts on stimulus checks, as well as more frequent checks. $1,800 over the course of a year is just not enough to support anyone living through a global pandemic.”

For many students, this sentiment rings true — In 2020, 16 million American students canceled plans to attend college, with many citing not being able to afford it as the reason for doing so.

“Students should definitely have a chance to obtain the stimulus check this time around. A majority of schools strip students of their money already. Things have been hard enough since the pandemic started. Every little bit helps,” said Marietta student Ryan Smith.

Nearly a year since the pandemic began, we remain in a precarious era of financial stability, where a single unexpected bill could cost a student their education.

In 2020, the government failed to address the hardships that this has caused for students.

In 2021, this can be amended, but only if students receive the relief they deserve.