Why You Won't Be Getting a Stimulus Check for Your College Student

In the middle of March 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). In an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, states across the country took sweeping action. Schools and non-essential businesses closed and governors asked citizens to stay home unless they’re engaging in essential activities, such as grocery shopping, picking up a prescription, or getting gasoline.

By April 1st, life, as we knew it in California, came to a grinding halt and as a result of strict stay-at-home orders, millions of Americans found themselves out of work. To help inject cash into our strained economy, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and on March 27, 2020, President Trump signed it into law. A big part of the $2 trillion economic relief package was the economic stimulus payments, which we explain below.

Economic Stimulus Payments Under the Act

Under the CARES Act, eligible individuals were to receive a payment of $1,200 and married couples were to receive $2,400. Additionally, parents were to receive $500 for each child age 16 and under – that’s one $500 payment per child per household.

“What if I’m supporting a college student? Can I receive a $500 stimulus check for them?” is a question that so many parents are asking. The answer, unfortunately, is “No.” Parents cannot receive stimulus checks for their college kids.

Not because they are in college, but because they are over the age of 16. In fact, parents can’t receive stimulus checks for their high school juniors and seniors if they are 17 or 18 either.

“Can my college student receive their own $1,200 stimulus check?” If you are claiming them as a dependent, they cannot receive their own check. However, if your college student is 100% self-supporting and you are NOT claiming them as a dependent, they should be able to receive their own $1,200 check assuming they meet all other eligibility requirements.