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Dependent College Students Deserve the Stimulus Too

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Siena chapter.

Needless to say, but I will begin this piece by emphasizing that the views reflected here are solely my own, and I understand that not everybody may have the same opinion, which is okay!

However, it is my belief that college students should get stimulus checks, regardless of their dependent status. There are multiple views on this subject, including those who firmly believe that a stimulus check should not be given to dependents. Their argument in this direction is largely that dependents, by definition, are supposed to be financially supported by whoever claims them as a dependent, being either their parent or legal guardian. In this way, there would be no point in giving dependents stimulus checks, since they don’t need the additional money. Instead, the money would be given to the parent or guardian who claims them, so they may use the government funds to continue taking care of their dependent. For some college students who are claimed as a dependent, this system is effective. Their parents or guardians may send them money, order them food, fund their grocery trips, or otherwise continue to take care of their dependents, even when they are at school. Therefore, this argument against providing college dependents with stimulus checks is logical. I am going to refute this with the reality that a significant number of dependent college students face, myself included.

Hands counting dollar bills with woman using calculator in background
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
As nice as it would be to be financially supported by our parents and guardians, this is simply not what so many college dependents experience. I hope my intentions are not misinterpreted, I do understand that parents and guardians often do their best and take care of their dependents while they are under the same roof. Yet, it is often the case that once a student travels back to school, they are financially independent. Once students are back on campus, expenses still roll in. For example, a new friend wants to grab dinner, or you have to make another grocery trip this week, or you decide to get off of campus for a night out with your roommates. Let’s face it: we’re in college and we want to have fun. These years should be filled with memories and laughs and experiences, but these don’t all come without a price tag. During these times of such economic instability, students should not have to stay at school and drastically limit their expenses, and therefore their creation of memories and nights out, in order to stay afloat. In the same way that parents, guardians, and independents deserve some funding to continue their way of life without making significant sacrifices, dependent students should, too. There is more to it than simply looking at whether an individual is a dependent or not, because it is not always the case that college student dependents are financially supported during the school year.

Pile of US coins spilling out of glass jar
Josh Appel/Unsplash
Although I’ll be the first to admit that I am still learning, as an economics major, I still fully believe that dependent college students deserve stimulus checks. The purpose of these checks, as is evident by their name, is to re-stimulate the economy. It is no secret that the economy took a massive hit over the course of this pandemic, and our hopes with this funding was for individuals to spend it, and re-inject the money into the economy, in a sense. When people get nervous about the financial situation or laid off from their jobs, they tend to save all of the money they have. However, this is not sustainable for a healthy economy. So, in order to re-stimulate it and try to promote economic growth, money has been given to consumers in hopes they will spend it. In this way, it makes complete sense for college dependents, as well as college independents, to obtain stimulus checks. There is a concept in the economics world that measures how likely a consumer is to spend their money, compared to how likely they are to save it. It is my belief that college students, regardless of their dependent status, would be more likely to spend the money than adults who may still be weary about the economic outlook including their ability to maintain rent, mortgage payments, and groceries. Again, this may be disputed by some, but it is what I believe; college students appear more likely to spend the stimulus checks given, while adults may be more inclined to save some due to uncertainty in the future.For these reasons, it is reasonable to believe that college students should receive stimulus checks, even if they have dependent status. Whatever happens, I just hope that soon we can all be back to creating memories and living freely like all college students deserve to!

Avery is a senior Economics major, with minors in Business and French, at Siena College. Naturally, being from Massachusetts, she’s a big fan of the Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots! Some of her favorite things include hiking and adventuring with her friends.