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Phoenix 101: What Biden’s COVID-19 Relief Plan Might Mean for College Students

Gage Skidmore Wikimedia CommonsPresident Joe Biden's proposed plan would include stimulus checks to adult dependents, which could include college students.

While former President Trump’s administration kept most college students from getting COVID-19 financial support, President Joe Biden’s trillion-dollar stimulus package is set to include adult dependents. The Phoenix breaks down what Loyola students can expect from the new president’s plans.

What does Biden’s economic plan include?

Biden announced a $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” to address the nation’s ongoing pandemic during a Jan. 14 livestream. Included in the proposal are widespread testing and vaccination efforts, extended paid leave, a $15 minimum wage and additional stimulus checks.

The most recent federal budget — passed before Biden took office — had a hefty price tag of $2.3 trillion for both COVID-19 relief ($900 billion) and spending. It allowed for people who make less than $75,000 to receive a $600 stimulus check, with $600 added for every dependent under age 17.

Biden’s American Rescue Plan would expand those COVID-19 benefits even more, sending an additional $1,400 check to those who qualify, bringing the total to $2,000 in relief per person. Biden is also looking to include adult dependents — which could include college students — and mixed status households to the list of qualifying Americans.

How will Biden’s plan affect colleges? 

Under the American Rescue Plan, $170 billion would go toward education — both higher education and K-12. 

Of the hundreds of billions going toward education, $130 billion will go to safely reopening schools, $35 billion to higher education and $5 billion for use by governors to back education programs most affected by COVID-19.

Jackson Bewley | The Phoenix

However, some have expressed concern that private universities, such as Loyola, will be excluded from the plan as it doesn’t explicitly list funding for private colleges and universities. As shown, the plan doesn’t specifically mention funding for private universities and colleges, which served 5.12 million students in 2018.

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