Everything you need to know about the new stimulus package

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Photo by Claire Gallagher

Some dependents are able to claim up to $1,400 in payment.

President Joe Biden signed the third round of stimulus checks into law on March 11, giving a maximum of $1,400 to those who qualify. The difference in this bill versus the first two, is that it includes many more dependents than the first two, and college students are among that group eligible. 

A dependent can be anybody above the age of 16, depending on how you are classified on tax returns. But a good percentage of college students fall under that umbrella, meaning that you could potentially qualify for that $1,400. Here is how you can qualify:

If you file as an independent on your taxes, you’ll be eligible for some amount if you make less than $80,000. If you make less than $75,000, you’ll be able to receive the full stimulus. But if you’re filed under your parents’ taxes, you can receive government payment if your parents make less than $150,000 combined or if the head of the household makes less than $112,500.

But don’t expect the money to go straight into your pockets if you do qualify as a dependent. James McGibany, the chair of the economics department at Marquette, said you may have to do some convincing to get that money.

“Whoever claims you as their dependent will be the one who gets the payment,” McGibany said. “That means if your parents qualify and have three kids, they’ll receive $1,400 per dependent. You might have to say, ‘hey Mom and Dad,’ let me get some of that.”

McGibay said he believes the reason this bill included college students is because of the number of complaints lawmakers have been receiving.

“Dependents and especially college students were some of the only people excluded in the first two packages,” McGibany said. “It’s possible that local and state representatives were under a lot of pressure to make sure that didn’t happen this third round.”

The impact of these checks will vary by how much people receive and what kind of financial situation they’re in.

Adam Bartoshevich, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said that these checks would help out with how expensive college can be.

“We always refer to ourselves as ‘broke college students,’ and this money will help students out with things like rent and other necessities,” Bartoshevich said. “It’s important for us because so many of our jobs and internships have been shut down because of the pandemic. I think it’s a good step.”

Kate Morris, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said that her $1,400 won’t be going to anything glamorous.

“I actually already got my direct deposit since I file as an independent,” Morris said. “All of the money I got is going directly into paying my rent for the next two months.”

Bartoshevich has some other plans if he ends up receiving money.

“I think a good 75% of it will go into my savings account,” Bartoshevich said. “But the other 25% might go towards a future trip or something. I think we all need a sense of normalcy and getting away would help with that.”

These checks have already begun to roll out. Morris and so many other Americans have already received some or all of the $1,400. Again, if you are filed as a dependent, whoever you’re dependent on will receive the money on your behalf. But if you’re an independent like Morris, expect the check soon if you haven’t received it already.

Social media has been having fun with the stimulus package. Users have gotten creative with how they plan on spending their money. Here are some of the best tweets to check out.

This story was written by Quinn Faeth. He can be reached at quinlan.faeth@marquette.edu.