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Six weeks after applying, MaKenna Bailey got the bad news: Her claim for unemployment was denied.

A sophomore at Pennsylvania State University, she typically works around 29 hours a week, earning between $1,000 and $1,200 a month.

But the state didn’t count one of her three part-time jobs—a position in a lab on campus. Without that job counting, the state said she didn't make enough with her other two jobs to clear Pennsylvania's threshold for unemployment eligibility. And while the letter, dated April 3, told Bailey she had 20 days to appeal, she didn’t receive it in the mail until last week, with a postmark for April 25. She's one of millions of college students who are navigating the complexities of unemployment as they finish courses online this semester.

It’d be easy to dismiss college students as workers only earning extra spending money. But that’s an outdated view of who fills lecture halls today. Many students pay their college bills with earnings from a part-time job. Others may have moved back home when campuses shuttered in March, but they still owe rent in off-campus apartments or have already signed leases for next year.

In fact, of the nearly 11 million undergraduates who work while enrolled full-time, 27% work more than 20 hours a week, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And with the restaurant and service industries taking such a severe hit in the pandemic, young people are likely disproportionately affected by the recent shut down, as they’re more like to work in those industries, says Jesse Barba, senior director of external affairs at Young Invincibles, a non-profit group that advocates for young adults.

To magnify the economic pain, as many as 13 million college students were left out of the stimulus checks, Barba says. They neither received $1,200 for themselves because their parents claimed them as dependents, nor did their parents receive $500 for a dependent because they're over 17 years old.

College students should have more luck with expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, but there are still challenges.