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Financial help for college students in the pandemic

Updated: June 17, 2020 10:15 AM

Many are still dealing with financial stress as our economy continues to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This includes college students and recent graduates who are just beginning to enter the workforce. 

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Barry Bigelow with Great Waters Financial said around 81% of college students and recent grads are struggling due to this crisis, especially because many of them weren't eligible for those stimulus payments.

"If you were able to be claimed as a dependent, you weren't able to receive a stimulus check," Bigelow said.  "That means if you were 23 or younger, you were left out.  So if you were a college graduate last year and you're already on your own, you're expecting a stimulus check, you actually weren't eligible the way the rules are set up."

If you aren't eligible to receive that payment, Bigelow said there are other things you can do.  If you're still in school, touch base with your college's financial aid office.  They can help adjust your student loans if your situation has changed.  

He said it's harder if you've graduated.  Make sure you're prepared during this time to enter a tough job market with a solid resume, cover letter, and interview skills. 

"Service industry jobs have disappeared overnight, which a lot of them had used to help get through college or help supplement to get through college, and now the job market is more competitive than ever, reminescent of 2008-2009," Bigelow said.  "So what the graduates went through at that time, we're going to have a more competitive job market for the graduates coming out right now."

If you're dealing with some uncertainty, you can ask for emergency aid or adjust your student loan benefits and accept unemployment benefits.

Another thing you can do is ask your college about reimbursing some expenses you may not have used this semester like housing, meals and other fees.

For more information, go to greatwatersfinancial.com.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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