Can I qualify for SNAP if I am a student?
A) It is possible for students to qualify for SNAP, but it depends on several factors, including the student’s age, work hours, and income.
Generally, college students are not eligible for SNAP unless they meet certain exemptions. For example, students may be eligible if they are:
- Under 18 years old
- Enrolled at least half-time in a college or university and working at least 20 hours per week
- Participating in a work-study program
- Responsible for the care of a dependent household member under the age of 6
- Receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Receiving certain types of disability benefits
It’s important to note that even if a student is eligible for SNAP, they must still meet income and other eligibility requirements to receive benefits. The specific eligibility criteria may vary depending on the state where the student resides.
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 unless they meet certain criteria such as participating in work-study, working at least twenty hours a week, or taking care of a dependent household member.
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.