Personal Finance

Bill would give low-income college students access to $1,200 stimulus checks

Key Points
  • While millions have received stimulus checks, some Americans — including low-income college students — did not qualify.
  • Now, a Congressional bill introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., seeks to change that.
  • The bill, called the Student RELIEF Act, would permit college students who receive Pell Grants eligible to receive one-time payments.

A bill in Congress seeks to give stimulus checks to one group previously shut out: low-income college students.

Many college students are still claimed by their parents as dependents. But because they're often age 17 or over, they're not eligible to receive stimulus payments based on eligibility requirements in the CARES Act.

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Now, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., has introduced a bill to give low-income students access to that money.

"Colleges and universities across the country have shuttered to limit the spread of Covid-19," Rush said in a statement. "While these closures have protected students from illness, they have also forced many students to return home to families who simply cannot afford the unexpected financial burden of suddenly having one, two or even three additional mouths to feed."

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill.
Ralf-Finn Hestoft | Corbis | Getty Image

The bill, called the Student Recovery Eligibility for Low-Income Individuals to Exact Funds (RELIEF) Act of 2020, would make students receiving Pell Grants eligible to receive $1,200 stimulus checks.

Federal Pell Grants are need-based funds given to low-income students to help them complete their college education.

The bill, which was introduced last week, has seven co-sponsors: Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif.; Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind.; Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, D-N.Y.; and Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas.

So who's getting the stimulus checks?