Dependent Students Appeal to Parents for Stimulus Assistance

by James Leonard | Staff Writer

SCRANTON — Students across campus are lobbying for stimulus checks from their parents.

With the American Rescue Plan now in effect and stimulus checks being distributed across the country, college-age adults whose parents or caretakers filed them as dependents are not receiving stimulus checks directly.

There has been speculation about whether college-age students, who are dependents, would receive a stimulus check from the government this session.

According to an article published by Forbes, “Eligible taxpayers and their dependents of all ages will be eligible for crucial aid, giving a lifeline to those who may live on their own and are working but are still claimed on their parents’ taxes.”

It seems like dependents do receive a $1,400 stimulus in their name, but that money is sent to a parent or guardian claiming them, instead of the dependent person.

Political science major Sultana Rahman is in the group of students who know they are receiving their stimulus check from their claimant, despite being a dependent.

“I do pretty much everything at school independently,” Rahman said. “I pay for my own gas, groceries and other expenses and very rarely ask my parents for financial help. I have two work study positions on campus and now I can have some room for extra expenses like coffee runs to Northern Lights!”

Rahman said she feels a sense of relief receiving the money, despite working those work study jobs and holding a job at home.

“Due to the current circumstances with the pandemic, I don’t feel forced to have to find shifts at my job back home during breaks,” Rahman said. “I can now just relax with my sister and recharge from the semester.”

Legal studies student Sam Maranca discussed the stimulus check with his parents, and they also came to an agreement that he would receive the money.

“I plan to go to law school and become a lawyer,” Maranca said. “It seems to me like the check will be issued under my name, so if the check is under my name it is legally mine and I am probably entitled to it.”

There is a split among students who are and are not receiving the stimulus money from their parents. Many students on campus do not plan to receive stimulus money at all, and don’t plan on discussing it with their parents.

A Survey Monkey poll completed by nearly 20 students shows that there is a near 50/50 split among those who are receiving the money from their parents and those who are not.

Occupational therapy major Josephine Marchesi has not yet discussed the stimulus check with her parents, but knows she’s not going to receive it.

“I do not know if they have received it yet because I haven’t really discussed it with them in awhile,” Marchesi said. “I don’t really plan to either, I just figure they will end up using it on me anyway.”

Some students know they can’t win an argument with their parents on the issue.

Occupational therapy major Jessica Tsu said she doesn’t feel educated enough on the topic of stimulus money to open an argument with her parents.

“My parents have the ultimate authority and they received it,” Tsu said. “I don’t think I’ll stand a chance if I try to lobby for a check.”

According to pre-med nursing student Alexandra Karpiak, the check isn’t necessary because she sees herself as a dependent — both on paper and in actuality.

“I don’t really care because I have a relationship with my parents that if I need something they can get it, so it’s not really an issue,” Karpiak said. “I am definitely dependent on them.”

Many students on campus are either unaware of the bill or don’t know enough about it. Forty-seven percent of the students who answered the poll claim they have not yet thought about the stimulus money, despite it already being sent out, including nursing major Hanna Mayer.

“I haven’t really looked into it yet so I am not really sure if I am even eligible, but if I think that I am, I am definitely going to have a discussion with my parents over the Easter Break,” Mayer said.

Despite many students across campus lobbying for stimulus checks from their parents successfully, there are still many students not receiving them, or completely unaware of the American Rescue Bill altogether.