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Food stamps: Can college students qualify for SNAP?

Millions of Americans receive financial assistance in the form of food stamps every month.

grocery store shelves filled with food stamp snap benefit eligible foods

While this program helps those who can’t easily afford food, recipients must first qualify for the benefits.

Different states have different rules, and they mainly rely on income or employment status.

So who can get the benefits?


College students and food stamps

In order for a college student to qualify, they need to meet specific requirements for SNAP benefits.

A college student needs to be enrolled less that half time.

Those that meet the requirements but are enrolled over half time need to qualify with an exemption.

Exemptions include

  • being under 18 or older than 50
  • a physical or mental disability
  • working 20 hours a week
  • caring for a child under age 6


6 states that take SNAP at restaurants

See the full list of exemptions as well as the temporary ones for COVID-19 here.

Students participating in a state or federal work study during the year or have an expected family contribution of 0 may qualify.

Temporary exemptions will end 30 days after the public health emergency for COVID-19 ends.


Using SNAP benefits on Amazon

Who else can get food stamps?

States are in charge of determining who can qualify for food stamps, despite it being a federally funded program.

Normally an income of up to 130% of the federal poverty line is needed.

A single person must make below $12,880 and a family of four must make below $26,500.

Some states have additional rules while others have less regarding things like age or bank accounts.

Apply for food stamps by contacting your local SNAP office or social services agency.

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