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Do college students qualify for food stamps?

mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,762Registered User Senior Member
edited June 2011 in Parents Forum
a full time DEPENDENT college student (about age 20) mentioned qualifying for federal food stamps because of his low income. His parents aren't low income. The are upper-middle income .

I thought dependent college kids didn't qualify for food stamps (because, heck, they'd all qualify).
Post edited by mom2collegekids on
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Replies to: Do college students qualify for food stamps?

  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,350Registered User Senior Member
    Also, when I was in school (70's), you couldn't qualify if you lived in a dorm; you had to have a kitchen.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,762Registered User Senior Member
    I want to make clear to others...I'm not talking about a student from a low income family...that may be a different story.
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,350Registered User Senior Member
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/489375-additional-federal-aid-work-study-students-food-stamps.html?highlight=food+stamps#post5730896


    http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/eligibility.htm

    "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) eliminated the time limit for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) during the period from April 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010, unless a State chooses to offer a qualifying work activity.

    Generally ABAWDS between 18 and 50 who do not have any dependent children can get SNAP benefits only for 3 months in a 36-month period if they do not work or participate in a workfare or employment and training program other than job search. This requirement is waived in some locations.

    With some exceptions, able-bodied adults between 16 and 60 must register for work, accept suitable employment, and take part in an employment and training program to which they are referred by the local office. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in disqualification from the Program. "
  • ilikepizzailikepizza Posts: 507Registered User Member
    :O they can if they get work study and dont buy school meal plan if i understand this right:

    Can I get SNAP/Food Stamps if I am in college? - MassLegalHelp
  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 Posts: 5,815Registered User Senior Member
    We could in MI up until recently if we didn't have a meal plan, now we can't anymore regardless of dependent status so I am told.

    My boyfriend has spent the last six weeks with no food because his campus job ended for the summer, it's impossible to find someone to hire you for 6 weeks, and there is no cafeteria for summer semester. His parents don't give him money. He had EBT up until he wasn't allowed to anymore, which was unfortunate. My mother has had to feed him.

    For those of us whose parents claim us as dependents and just flat out refuse to support education, things like this are a serious issue. I couldn't use my meal plan last year because of my food allergies and had no money for food, but didn't apply for EBT since I was required to buy the meal plan even though I couldn't use it. I ate nothing but bagels and soup for a year. My parents weren't paying for my schooling and I paid all of my living expenses by myself.
  • SEA_tideSEA_tide Posts: 3,477Registered User Senior Member
    A quick Google search shows that WA and DC (and most likely other states) have laws that allow all Federal Work Study students to qualify for food stamps.
    WA: WAC 388-482-0005: How does being a student impact my eligibility for the Washington Basic Food program?
    Student Status
    DC: http://www.dchunger.org/pdf/student_foodstamp_flyer_09.pdf

    The relevant WA code (WAC 388-482-0005) does state:
    If you are a student and the only reason you are eligible for Basic Food is because you participate in work study, you are only eligible while you work and receive money from work study. If your work study stops during the summer months, you must meet another condition to be an eligible student during this period.
  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Posts: 2,699Registered User Senior Member
    When I was a college student away from home for the first time, I found myself without a job, car (it broke down), or place to live (school was out but I had planned to stay in my college town). I had a job for a few weeks but my boss took off and never paid any of us; it was a weird situation that my parents warned me about but I was young and stupid. I lived in dorms of friends who were in summer school and I ate pb & j sandwiches from the cafeteria that they brought me until I just had to call my parents and ask them to send me money to start me over again. I never would have thought about getting food stamps but I think I knew my parents would eventually bail me out. (They had to do it again when I had major knee surgery and had to come home for a quarter)
  • MomCat2MomCat2 Posts: 681Registered User Member
    Emaheevul07 - It looks like there is a lot of misinformation out there on the changes that Michigan made recently - the reporting on this is just terrible! I don't think there is any such thing as decent journalism in this country anymore.
    From what I can gather after having spent a couple of hours online researching food stamps and college students and trying to look at the facts behind the stories about Michigan changing student eligibility requirements, this is what think the truth is:

    All states must follow federal guidelines in terms of eligibility requirements, however they can *broaden*eligibility if they wish. It doesn't look like they can restrict eligibility, from what I can tell (not absolutely positive on this, though). It seems that until recently, MI had broader than usual eligibility for college students - if you were in college and had an "educational plan" or some such, it was very easy to qualify. It looks like what the recent legislation did was close that particular loophole, BUT students who meet federal eligibility guidelines still qualify. (Some MI legislator introduced a bill that students who are dependents of their parents can not be eligible - but it looks like this bill is still in committee. To me, I'm not even sure that it would pass muster with the feds if it DID pass, since it would significantly restrict eligiblity relative to the Federal rules)

    The link in ilikepizza's post just above yours gives good info for college students in terms ofthe eligibility requirements

    See also:
    http://www.masslegalhelp.org/income-benefits/food-stamps/advocacy-guide/appendixc/mlri-college-student-faq.pdf
    What if I am a college student? - MassLegalHelp (be sure to click on the links in the 2nd-to-last paragraph for details as to "what income is not counted" and "how does DTA count the income..." and the EDUC-1 form that verfies how much financial aid you get and what it's allocated for.

    Basically, if you're a full-time student living off-campus who has any type of work-study income, OR who works 20 or more hours/wk OR who has a dependent child, there is a good chance that you'll be eligible (provided you meet the income limitations and have less than $2000 of countable assets. Be sure to read the links re: what is countable income and what is countable assets.)
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 57,762Registered User Senior Member
    Basically, if you're a full-time student living off-campus who has any type of work-study income, OR who works 20 or more hours/wk OR who has a dependent child, there is a good chance that you'll be eligible (provided you meet the income limitations and have less than $2000 of countable assets.

    NO wonder the country is going broke when rules like this get made.....and states are allowed to broaden the definition so that their state residents can get MORE fed dollars. States should NOT be allowed to do this...that is crazy.

    Frankly, maybe this should be more widely known and then gazillions of qualifying students will be upping the demands for food stamps and this crazy loophole will get closed.
  • ilikepizzailikepizza Posts: 507Registered User Member
    so if you live on campus and a dependent, and have work study, you can get food stamps even if your financial aid is enough? I wonder how many people know about this
  • MomCat2MomCat2 Posts: 681Registered User Member
    Look at it this way - not just any lazy rich college kid can get this. You have to be on work-study , which is NEED-BASED, or be working 20 hours a week or more - which is a substantial amount of time for a full-time student to be putting in. 8-12 hours/week is pretty doable; 20 not so much.
    So this kind of sweetens the deal (kind of like extra financial aid) for kids who have enough need to get work study, or who are working quite hard at an outside job.

    Also consider that there are a LOT of kids like emaheevul whose parents are not willing to kick in a dime to help their student, even though they are claiming them as a dependent.

    If these students lived in the vast majority of other western democracies, their tuition would be free, or nearly so.
  • CaliforniaDancerCaliforniaDancer Posts: 1,577Registered User Senior Member
    Look at it this way - not just any lazy rich college kid can get this. You have to be on work-study , which is NEED-BASED, or be working 20 hours a week or more - which is a substantial amount of time for a full-time student to be putting in. 8-12 hours/week is pretty doable; 20 not so much.

    I know a number of students with work-study awards who don't have an on-campus job - e.g. they were awarded work study but essentially don't use it. From my understanding of this policy (and I could be wrong), such students would still qualify. Additionally, while the students with most need certainly have work study, and I don't doubt that they work extremely hard, at least at my college, I know a number of middle-class students with work study whose parents may not be able to pay full fare, but they are indeed able to provide students with food, spending money, etc.

    Not to say that I wish I qualified for food stamps, that those college students who do don't deserve it, etc. - I'm just making some observations from my personal experience with friends who have work study at my college.

    Perhaps I'm just bitter, though - finding an on-campus job without work study is a near impossible feat. I don't have work study, and it took me a full semester before I finally found my (admittedly awesome) job as a peer tutor - but that meant a semester of unpaid training, before finally starting paid employment in the fall (or the summer in my case), and was a result of my fortunately earning the requisite grades. I'm certainly lucky and fortunate that my parents are in a fairly comfortable financial situation, but I do need a way to earn my spending money, etc., so I guess I do get a little annoyed when I see those with work study not bothering to apply for/take the plentiful work study jobs...
  • MomCat2MomCat2 Posts: 681Registered User Member
    You actually have to be working in a work-study job in order to qualify (there are conditions in terms of assets and income that have to be met too.)
  • MomCat2MomCat2 Posts: 681Registered User Member
    Oh, in my post #13 I forgot to mention that another thing that would qualify a college student would be having a dependent child under age 12.
    I think any one with any kind of a heart would agree that such students have a pretty tough row to hoe.
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