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Cash-Strapped College Students Turning To Food Stamps

Dave_BerryDave_Berry Posts: 1,290CC Admissions Expert Senior Member
edited November 2012 in College Life
"Tuition hikes, combined with the increased cost of general living, have left many college students more strapped for cash than ever before.

As such, more and more are turning to tax-funded food stamp programs to help them afford the essentials.

The program – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP for short – is offered by the United States Department of Agriculture for qualifying people in need.

According to its website, eligibility requirements for the program include gross and net income tests and employment requirements. It is designed primarily to assist families, however students can apply, given the age and work stipulations in place for qualification.

A sum of $200 is awarded to program participants each month, which is to be used toward grocery bills. ..."

Cash-Strapped Georgia College Students Turning To Food Stamps CBS Atlanta
Post edited by Dave_Berry on
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Replies to: Cash-Strapped College Students Turning To Food Stamps

  • smorgasbordsmorgasbord Posts: 1,803Registered User Senior Member
    Great idea. Just when our debt reaches a trillion, even more government handouts. What happened to the good ol' dining hall, Natty, and Ramen?
  • DeathsadvocateDeathsadvocate Posts: 101Registered User Junior Member
    Dining halls are insanely expensive now so i wouldnt say use those
    This is really a band aid for how out of control college cost are now.
  • ladeeda6ladeeda6 Posts: 508Registered User Member
    Meal plans are extremely expensive and if you don't attend a residential college, there aren't traditional "dining halls".
  • PRiNCESSMAHiNAPRiNCESSMAHiNA Posts: 2,120Registered User Senior Member
    I hate that things are so desperate for some college students. My cousin says at her college, some of the poorer students end up digging through the trash, looking for discarded food because they can't afford the meal plan.
  • beoleinbeolein Posts: 645Registered User Member
    I think there is something wrong with this story. Students are members of their parents' households even though they live away from home for a majority of the year. Food stamps are given depending on household income and assets. Unless the household is already on food stamps, how does a student get them?
  • vlinesvlines Posts: 3,579Registered User Senior Member
    I think there is something wrong with this story. Students are members of their parents' households even though they live away from home for a majority of the year. Food stamps are given depending on household income and assets. Unless the household is already on food stamps, how does a student get them?

    I was thinking the same thing, beolein. There is either more to this story and the recipient's background, or fraud involved.
  • clarinette52clarinette52 Posts: 709Registered User Member
    According to the article, they just have to meet certain age and work requirements.
  • vlinesvlines Posts: 3,579Registered User Senior Member
    according to the website for SNAP, it is based on household income. So if the student is an independent, then they may be eligible. If they are getting benefits based on their "dorm" household, I think they found a loophole.

    Eligibility
  • vlinesvlines Posts: 3,579Registered User Senior Member
    here is the real info on SNAP benefits from their site!
    Students

    Students
    Most able-bodied students ages 18 through 49 who are enrolled in college or other institutions of higher education at least half time are not eligible for SNAP benefits. However, students may be able to get SNAP benefits if otherwise eligible and they:

    Get public assistance benefits under a Title IV-A program;

    Take part in a State or federally financed work study program;

    Work at least 20 hours a week;

    Are taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 6;

    Are taking care of a dependent household member over the age of 5 but under 12 and do not have adequate child care to enable them to attend school and work a minimum of 20 hours, or to take part in a State or federally financed work study program; or

    Are assigned to or placed in a college or certain other schools through:


    A program under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998,

    A program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974,

    An employment and training program under the Food Stamp Act, or

    An employment and training program operated by a State or local government.

    Also, a single parent enrolled full time in college and taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 12 can get SNAP benefits if otherwise eligible.
  • SPELondonbrondonSPELondonbrondon Posts: 130Registered User Junior Member
    I know when I ran out of food swipes I was having to eat one meal a day if I could sneak in, otherwise I'd eat one bowl of ramen and maybe some chips a day. I did that for two weeks or so.

    Eventually I got a bit of cash so I went to buy a meal at one of the dining halls. The woman there likes me though and gave me my meal free..so I was able to get some free meals from there.
  • CelebratedCelebrated Posts: 55Registered User Junior Member
    Reading this thread before going to the theaters was a mistake.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,746Registered User Senior Member
    I'm on food stamps because my two jobs weren't making ends meet. I got a new job in October that pays very well and I literally call my case worker every week asking her to cancel my food stamps. It's february and I still get money every month. I want them to stop because Michigan has a lifetime cap and I want to save months in case I'm in trouble later in life.
  • Time2Time2 Posts: 708Registered User Member
    Perhaps the people from that other recent thread that thought spending $40K is no big deal for nursery school should read this thread as a reality check.
  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 Posts: 5,924Registered User Senior Member
    Romani, I thought all college students got kicked off the bridge card program last year because of some new legislation which made college students ineligible in MI? Everyone I knew, including those that were working full time and totally financially independent, got kicked out of the program. Weird, I wonder what I missed!

    A lot of programs actually use where you live to determine your household income and your parents income isn't considered unless you actually live with them or are being supported by them, my "household income" was always determined by my own income when I was in college for everything except FAFSA and related sort of stuff-- and that makes a whole lot of sense. Not everybody's parents continue to take care of them past 18 just because they're students, and they're not legally obligated anymore. When I was in college my parents gave me no money, at all, the meal plan was prohibitively expensive, and I could barely use it anyway because of my food allergies. I ate nothing but lettuce and croutons for days at a time because that was all I could eat in the dining hall. Once you're 18 if your parents don't want to take care of you you are ON YOUR OWN, being a student doesn't change that.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,746Registered User Senior Member
    Ema, no. You have to fit strict new qualifications like work study job or working 20 hours a week. I fit both. I didn't even apply for them until August, long after strict new rules went into place.

    Those who work full time likely don't qualify because they make too much.
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