College students may be eligible for money through the CARES Act

Many students are not eligible to receive $1,200 stimulus checks under the CARES Act, but there is another way for students to get money to make ends meet.(Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) — Stimulus checks have been rolled out. If you have your own, you might be using that money to pay bills, buy food, pay for the roof over your head. What if you don’t qualify for this money? Many students are not. There is another way for students to get money to make ends meet.

“A new survey found that 81% of college students are struggling financially because of the coronavirus,” said financial adviser Tim Riney of the Family Wealth Group.

Riney says most college students aren’t eligible for a federal stimulus check if they’re at an age where they can be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return.

“It really doesn’t matter if their parents don’t claim them as a dependent, the test is whether they’re claimable or not,” Riney said.

Students 24 and older will receive the one-time $1,200 stimulus check if their income is $75,000 or less. There is also help through the CARES Act. Colleges and universities are receiving $14 billion in grants, and $6 billion will immediately help students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The amount of money each school receives is based on enrollment, and institutions have the freedom to determine who will receive the funds,” Riney said.

Riney says the money will be given as emergency grants, loans, scholarships or vouchers to cover housing and school expenses.

The University of Louisville received $12.5 million from the CARES Act. Of this amount, just over $6 million is allocated to students. The UofL has already distributed about $4.1 million of that money to students. The University of Kentucky got more than $17 million from the CARES Act, including $8 million for students.

It is money that students must ask for. Many colleges across the country are developing an application process and formulas for distributing the money.

“It could be hundreds or thousands of dollars,” Riney said. “It’s too early to tell, but it will be based on financial need. It’s still a bit new, people just need to be aware of it as one of the potential options for getting help.”

As for federal student loan relief, Riney says, under the CARES Act, student loan payments are deferred and interest is waived on all student loans held by the federal government through Sept. This year. Riney also says those with student loans in default will also see relief. The bill suspends wage garnishment, Social Security and tax refunds.

Riney adds that the bill does not include private student loans or federally issued loans held by private lenders.

If you are a student, check with your financial aid office for more information about CARES Act assistance.

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