Stimulus package fails to cover one of the most financially unstable groups

Written By Shannon Hartnett, Co-Opinions Editor

As we settle into the fourth week of the quarantine; businesses, families and people all over the world are taking hits across the board. The unemployment rates have hit a historical high with the most ever claims for unemployment. The numbers reached up to 6.6 million and are only increasing. Even as individuals file for unemployment the business industry is taking hits with more to come. 

At the Waterfront alone, Rockbottom, Bar Louie and Bravo’s are rumored to have said that they are closing their doors for good with no intention to reopen after quarantine. 

Many people were relieved when the stimulus package passed through the legislature. For many Americans, this means that they will receive $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child that they have under 17. The guidelines say that any individual that has an income of over $75,000 or a combined income of $150,000 will have a reduced package. For many middle and lower-class Americans, this won’t be a problem and they should receive the aid as promised. 

There is a group of people who are still confused about how this is going to help them at all: college students. 

I think we are taking a lot of the heat throughout this entire quarantine. Colleges were some of the first places to close down, we are the majority of people who have started navigating the waters of online learning and now many college-aged students are not going to be getting any aid from the government, because people over the age of 17 who are still claimed as a dependent on their parents’ tax forms do not qualify. 

This includes students who have off-campus housing, students who filed their own tax forms and even students who have their own job and contribute to their family dynamic. 

Why is this happening? Why is it that one of the most financially unstable groups in the nation is not able to qualify for any aid? Apparently, once you turn 18 in the eyes of the government, you should be an independent person who has everything figured out and knows how to support yourself financially. If you did exactly that then you would not be claimed as an independent and you could receive aid. Apparently it doesn’t matter if you are still claimed as a dependent to stay on your parents’ health insurance, or if you still live at home or you chose to go to college instead of being thrown into the workforce right after graduation. 

I just want to know who made these guidelines. I just wanna talk. Or if you feel that there is a better solution to our problems, please share it, I will be the first to read about your idea, I promise. 

Not to mention that as colleges began shutting their doors, many students did not have their summer housing lined up and ready. I understand that in this case, you should just go home, as in go back to the house that you were raised in, but it’s not that simple. Some people move across the country for college, get a job out that way and begin to build their own life. Some people leave home and go to college because they are escaping the toxic community and family they grew up with. I understand that these situations are not the concern of the government who is currently dealing with a probable recession on the way, but I find it astounding that not one member of our legislative body saw the gaping hole in this package. 

Point Park students, wherever you may be, if you find yourself in a situation similar to the one I laid out above, I wish you all the luck in the world. May you find a solution to your troubles and rise from this situation stronger than you were before.