Parents: Why Your College Student is Unlikely to Get a Stimulus Check

By now, you’ve heard the buzz about the economic stimulus checks. Most adults 18 and older will be receiving a $1,200 check and married couples will receive $2,400, plus an additional $500 per household for every child under the age of 17. This might surprise you, but many college students will not be getting a stimulus check.

The IRS has already begun depositing millions of stimulus checks into taxpayer’s bank accounts, assuming they qualify. College students, however, are the one group that may not be receiving theirs. But why is this? It’s not as if college students aren’t affected. Many college classes have been canceled. Many college dorms have been closed temporarily, and many college kids have been laid off just like millions of other workers.

The answer: It’s because many college kids are claimed as a dependent by their parents. Countless taxpayers have asked, “Can college students receive stimulus checks?” Not if they’re claimed as dependents. If no one claims your college-age child as a dependent on their taxes, then your child should be able to receive a stimulus check, but as long as they’re claimed as a dependent by one parent, they are automatically disqualified and cannot receive a check.

Do You Support Your Older Child?

As mentioned above, if you claim your college student as a dependent, he or she will not receive a stimulus check. Even if your 17 or 18-year-old child is still in high school full-time and living at home but not yet in college, you cannot receive a stimulus check for him or her. While this sounds unfair, especially to parents with high school juniors and seniors, it is what it is.

To recap: As long as a college student age 18 or older is not claimed as a dependent, they can take advantage of the economic stimulus. So, if your child is in college and they support themselves and meet all other requirements, they can receive their own stimulus check.