When Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package on March 25, many people thought they would receive relief. But this package excluded a critical group: college students who are claimed as dependents.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put students in real financial distress. Denison students have been kicked out of their on-campus housing and many don’t know what to do next. Leaving campus this semester was hard, but I know that I will be coming back in the fall. From getting kicked off campus to being thrown into a world of uncertainty, I can’t imagine what the class of 2020 is going through. This is supposed to be the time when they can take a chance on that new job or take a leap of faith and move across the country, but now that is gone. 

There’s so much uncertainty surrounding this crisis, but it is clear that college students need relief in the next Congressional stimulus package. I applaud the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) for its loan forgiveness provisions and further funding for universities, but the legislation simply does not go far enough to protect the financial security of students. 

For many college students, like me, on-campus jobs serve as a main source of income and cover personal finances. As a tour guide, April was supposed to be a time when I grew as a young professional being promoted from a Tour Guide to a Senior Docent. Now instead of more hours, I have lost opportunities to gain a substantial income.

Congressional Democrats have pushed for relief for college students, but every time we take a step toward progress Congressional Republicans like Kentucky’s Senator Mitch McConnell kill the bill. It is imperative that Congress pass a tax rebate that directly assists college students claimed as dependents.

We need leadership that fights for the needs of students, not corporations. Donald Trump and Ohio’s Senator Rob Portman have constantly fought for corporate tax cuts, but throw the needs of college students aside. We need to remember this as we go to the polls this November. We need to elect leaders who will put students and working families first.

Matthew Nowling is a junior from Columbus, Ohio studying Political Science.

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