Will I Get a $500 Stimulus Check for My College Student?

In the middle of March of 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic, otherwise known as “COVID-19.” In a matter of days, schools closed, non-essential businesses were directed by state governments to shut down, concerts and sporting events were canceled, and citizens were asked to stay home with the exception of essential activities, such as grocery shopping, getting gasoline, and picking up prescriptions at pharmacies.

In an effort to help cash-strapped Americans and the hurting economy, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and on March 27, 2020, President Trump signed it into law.

Under the CARES Act, eligible individuals were to receive a stimulus payment for $1,200 and married couples who filed jointly on their taxes would get $2,400. And, parents would receive a $500 stimulus payment for each child age 16 and younger – that’s one check for a child per household. Both parents cannot collect a $500 check each for a child.

What if I Support My College Student?

If you support your college student, you may be wondering if you can collect a $500 economic stimulus payment for them. If you claim your college student as a dependent on your taxes, you cannot collect a $500 stimulus check for him or her. If you happen to have a 17 or 18-year-old high school junior or senior, you can’t collect a check for them either because they have to be age 16 or younger for you to receive a $500 stimulus check on their behalf.

“What if I don’t claim my college student as a dependent? Can they get their own stimulus check?” Maybe. If you do NOT claim your college student as a dependent and he or she is fully self-supporting, then they should be eligible to receive their own $1,200 stimulus check. However, if your college student owes child support, their check may be reduced or eliminated depending on how much they owe in arrears.