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For college students engaged in some employment and training programs, SNAP eligibility was increased.

College Student Studying during Break Time. (Photo: Pexels)

College students who are engaged in acceptable job and training programs can qualify for SNAP benefits.

Portrait of a smiling female university student standing on campus with friends in the background. (Photo: IStock)

According to, a new flexibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will permit some college students who meet eligibility requirements to receive SNAP benefits even though they typically are not eligible due to their status as a student, according to a Tuesday announcement from Dr. Val Arkoosh, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).

College students must be engaged in an acceptable work and training program in order to be eligible for this new flexibility.

We are aware that college students must manage several expenses while making investments in their futures. One of them shouldn’t be worrying about how to fulfill one of their most fundamental requirements, according to Secretary Arkoosh. “I am pleased that the Shapiro Administration has expanded SNAP’s eligibility options so that college students who are concentrating on their employability after graduation can receive assistance with their immediate basic necessities. I urge colleges and universities around the Commonwealth to evaluate the requirements for this new flexibility and submit applications for program certification as soon as feasible so that we can assist students who may be having financial difficulties paying for their education and other expenses.

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College students who are enrolled at least half-time are often ineligible for SNAP unless they meet the requirements for one of the available exemptions from the job requirement.

According to DHS.DC.GOV, all other SNAP eligibility conditions, such as income limitations, must also be met by students who qualify for an exemption. What constitutes ‘half-time’ enrollment is decided by the higher education institution.

Where can I apply?

You can submit a paper application, use a mobile app on your phone, or apply for SNAP online. Find out more about what you can do. To assess your eligibility, you must answer inquiries about you and the individuals you live with when you apply.

You will need to provide proof of a number of items as part of your application, including your identity, your income, and evidence that you qualify for at least one of the exemptions for college students. To expedite the application process, you are urged to include supporting documentation with your application. For instance, give us a copy of your ID so we can confirm your identity; if you have a job, give us copies of your pay stubs; and if you qualify for a student exemption, provide us documentation like a financial assistance award letter as confirmation.

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