What will students do with their stimulus checks?

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Thomas Sagers

Many students at Linfield are looking forward to receiving stimulus checks.

Riley Omonaka and Ethan Myers

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On March 10, the House passed a massive $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, which will extend unemployment insurance and provide additional money for COVID testing, but most notably will send $1,400 stimulus checks to approximately 158 million American households. President Biden signed the relief package, titled American Rescue Act Plan, the following day and money began hitting bank accounts over the past few weekends. For many students, the stimulus checks will be a huge boost during a time of financial stress.

“Getting a stimulus check would be so helpful,” Colleen Johnson, a senior majoring in philosophy said. “I work multiple jobs on and off campus right now, but I still don’t make enough to afford rent. A stimulus check would give me a bit of security while apartment hunting.”

The $1.9 trillion bill is the first COVID relief package since the $900 billion package that was passed by Congress on Dec. 22, 2020. The December bill, titled Consolidated Appropriations Act, provided $23 billion in relief aid to higher education institutions. In addition to the $900 billion, another $1 billion was approved to be used in the adjustment of financial aid. The bill requires universities and colleges to spend half of the funding received on emergency aid to students struggling financially. 

Among other changes impacting students included the simplification of the FAFSA form from 108 questions down to only 36. Congress also plans to use the money to expand the financial aid of grants such as the Pell Grant for low-income students, making the maximum amount of federal funding more easily accessible. 

While those changes will certainly provide necessary benefits for students, the imminent need for direct stimulus checks is currently much higher. When they arrive via direct deposit or paper check, students will use them on a variety of necessities. Several Linfield students, including senior psychology major Fay Mitchell, said they would use the check for “school-related payments.”

While many students are looking to cover the cost of living and fulfilling basic needs, others would save their check for a rainy day…or a new gaming console. Senior Pedro Graterol said, “I will use half on expenses like food and such and save the rest, but [would] secretly want to get the new PS5.”

Junior Bethany Shade is unsure if she will receive a stimulus check, but would plan to use the money for international travel once restrictions are lifted.

Due to changes in eligibility for the third round of stimulus checks, many students have had questions about who is getting one and how much money they will receive. Find out if you are eligible and how much you will receive here.