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Taylor Johnston and Ellen Wagner make important decisions about the Post in the editors' office on the evening of Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Editorial: College students, coronavirus and the uncertainties of the future

Everyone’s lives have had significant changes over the past several weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As college students, we are currently left with a lot of uncertainties. 

Many students were forced to leave the comfort of their campus housing to move back to their hometown for the remainder of the year. After being uprooted from a normal routine, students still have to finish courses for the semester online, even with the Satisfactory/No Credit system the university is now offering. 

With many living at home, it does not mean they are exempt from bills and rent for campus housing. It is not expected for students to get a tuition refund even though online classes do not compare to what we can learn in-person lectures

Students are also put in further financial struggles with the closure of businesses, bars, restaurants and university jobs that they depended on for income to pay their bills. With summer approaching, prospective jobs offers or internships may no longer be offered as unemployment rises across the country. 

Ohio University is still offering remote work to students who were employed during Spring Semester. But for some, it does not meet the same hours and income that they once had while living on campus. 

The Coronavirus Stimulus Package is meant to be helpful to everyone in the U.S. by providing people with a $1,200 payment. But the package overlooked those who fall between the ages of 17 to 24 — college students. 

If college students are claimed as dependents on a tax return — which many are — they do not qualify for the package. Students under the age of 24 qualify as dependents if their parents pay for at least half of their expenses. For every qualifying child under 16 years old, the payment will have an additional $500. 

While everyone has many fears about the future, college students are especially feeling that burden. Students are stressed about school and employment but also don’t have the financial stability they once depended on. 

OU has been working to help students where it can with refunds for Athens on-campus housing, meal plans, parking permits and commencement caps and gowns. However, the state and the nation should do more to support students than temporarily suspending federal student loan repayments

Everything across the globe after the pandemic will change, and college students are the ones who will be driving the change. It’s time for the government to step up and give students what they need to support themselves so that we can support the world’s future. 

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Ellen Wagner and Digital Managing Editor Taylor Johnston. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

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