With the country's economy closing for the most part in response to the coronavirus, it is no secret that millions of Americans have been experiencing financial strain.
As students struggle to balance paying their tuition, living expenses and maintaining their grades, the threat of a failing economy only adds to the intense pressure.
A few Stan State students commented on the way that coronavirus has affected their financial situations.
“I am currently unemployed due to the virus,” says John Hogan (junior, Philosophy).
Daniel Galvan (senior, Communication Studies) explains that finding a job has been difficult as many businesses are not currently hiring.
Others have been lucky enough to keep their jobs, however, the risk of economic struggles are only traded in for the risk of infection.
Devin McCoy (senior, Communication Studies) says that, “In regards to the coronavirus pandemic, I have luckily been able to keep my job. Also, in a weird string of events, my work has become even busier than previously, so I have been needed to contribute more than my usual weekly hours.”
In an attempt to alleviate some of the financial strain caused by the pandemic, the government sent millions of Americans a stimulus check as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
However, many students are still unclear about what the stimulus check was and why some people didn’t receive one.
Israell Vega (freshman, Liberal Studies) explains that it’s difficult to keep up with the news while simultaneously focusing on work and school.
To clear up the confusion about the stimulus check, students can find many stories covering the topic on news sites such as the New York Times, who are offering free access to coronavirus coverage without a paid subscription.
According to this New York Times article, students who did not receive a check were claimed as dependents on their parents taxes. Even if the students live on their own, they may be claimed if they are under 24 years old and their parents pay for at least half of their expenses or make enough income to do so.
For more information about this specific check and financial relief effort, go to the Coronavirus Stimulus Package F.A.Q article as many other various questions were addressed here.
In addition to the stimulus checks, the colleges and universities of California also received their own portion of the package from the federal government.
According to an article from EdSource, the colleges and universities of California were given the funds designed to be allocated for students that need to cover certain expenses.
In a statement released by Stanislaus State in regards to the CARE act, they specified that “The CARES emergency grants, which do not have to be repaid, are available to all currently enrolled CSU undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are eligible to receive federal financial aid, with the exception of students enrolled in fully online programs.”
Although students will be getting a portion of these funds, it still may not be enough to cover their expenses and especially for those students who were not able to receive a stimulus check.
Many students feel that it was unfair that they did not receive a check because they support themselves financially despite their status as a dependent.
“My parents claimed me on their taxes. I don't think it's fair because I'm living on my own,” says Galvan.
Vega agreed, saying, “I feel it is not fair. For my situation, I still have to pay for a lot of utilities, and it would be helpful to be treated equally.”
While dependent students are frustrated, many are still very understanding.
“In my opinion regardless of the measures taken, due to the unprecedented nature of what is going on, people were going to be left out regardless….at the end of the day I cannot be upset over money that was never truly mine,” says McCoy.
Jake Mendoza (junior, Communication Studies) is a delivery driver and says that while a check would be helpful, he knows that others need the money more. “My parents claim me as dependent, which sucks because it means I won’t be getting one, but in my situation alone, I don’t really need one like other people because my employment hasn’t changed, and to be honest, has actually given me more hours.”
Financial insecurity is a burden that weighs heavily on many college students. While some are simply struggling to pay the expensive college tuition, others are simultaneously trying to support a family.
Although the government has made an attempt to alleviate some of this stress, the fact remains that students all around the country are suffering from the uncertainty of a failing economy