The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

SNAP Eligibility Rules/Rights for College Students


College students struggling with tuition costs and shrinking financial aid may be eligible for SNAP benefits. A recent report by the Wisconsin Hope Lab underscores the growing food insecurity amoung 2 and 4 year public college students, as reported in the Boston Globe on May 11, 2018.

The following are fact sheets and check lists to help low income college students figure out if they are SNAP-eligible and what proofs they need to provide to qualify:

MLRI Advocacy Tools:

DTA Forms to verify student status and non-countable financial aid:

Current DTA guidance regarding college students:

  • DTA's Online Guide page on student eligibility (this is the policy DTA SNAP workers often refer to)
  • DTA's August 2017 Online Guide Transmittal expanding SNAP college student eligibility to recipients of MASS Grant financial aid, and that Quincy College students can qualify in the same way as 2 -year community college student. 
  • DTA's Operations Bulletin 2018-2 (3/27/18) which allows students to self-declare how much financial aid is available for basic living expenses if the student runs into problems gettingi the financial aid office to fill out DTA's EDUC-1 form. The self-dec should be submitted with the student's financial aid award letter (which most students can download).  See NASFAA 9/13/17 guidance relaying this US DOE restriction on sharing student financial aid information.

Historic DTA guidance regarding college students:

  • FAQ with a breakdown of the potentially eligible community college population in each of the 15 colleges (prepared in 2010).
  • DTA's June 2010 Field Ops memo 2010-28 about SNAP benefits for community college students (note that the verification form attached to this memo is out of date; a link to the current form is above).
  • DTA's July 2010 Hotline excerpt about SNAP benefits for community college students.
  • DTA's June 2014 Hotline Q & A on SNAP benefits for college students who come home for the summer.
  • DTA's September 2012 Training Corner reminder on college students.
  • Information about what kind of community college programs can be considered employment and training programs.

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