Biden signs bill giving stimulus checks to students

The bill also provides funding for higher education and vaccine distribution.

President Biden signs a bill providing stimulus checks to college students on March 11. Above, students walk and sit around the Bell Tower on March 9. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

President Joseph Biden signed The American Rescue Plan Act today, providing stimulus checks of up to $1,400 to newly-eligible college students and millions of Americans as well as  $39 billion in grants to higher-education institutions and $7.5 billion for vaccine administration and distribution. 

Previous COVID-19 stimulus bills notably excluded adults claimed as dependents on others’ tax returns from receiving the first and second direct stimulus payments, CNBC reported. Under the new bill, adult dependents 17 and older are eligible to receive up to $1,400 in direct payments, though the checks will be sent to those who claimed them on their tax returns. 

To be eligible for the payments, the taxpayer that claims the dependent will have to meet certain income thresholds, CNBC reported. Single filers earning up to $75,000 will receive $1,400, while married couples filing jointly that earn up to $150,000 will receive $2,800 in addition to payments for any dependents, with the payments phasing out incrementally as income increases.

The signing of the act comes as the United States House of Representatives passed the legislation on Wednesday following the Senate’s passage on Mar. 10, CNBC reported. 

The payments could go out as early as this weekend to those who have provided the IRS with direct deposit bank account information, the Washington Post reported.

In the previous round of stimulus funding approved in December 2020, Temple University received $44.2 million, of which $15 million went directly to students, The Temple News reported. The university received nearly $14.4 million from the first round of stimulus funding in May 2020.

Temple is now in the process of ensuring that students in need receive the second round of federal funds, wrote Raymond Betzner, a spokesperson for the university, in an email to The Temple News. This process will continue once the university receives the money from The American Rescue Plan, he wrote.

“It’s going to take some time before we know the impact for Temple,” Betzner wrote. “What’s clear is that the administration and Congress recognizes the deep financial impact felt by students and universities.”

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