The Education Department urged colleges and universities to spread the word to students that more are eligible for food stamp benefits during the coronavirus pandemic.
Higher education students enrolled at least half-time had not been ineligible for food stamps. But the department in a guidance to the institutions Tuesday said the federal budget passed by Congress in December expanded the program until 30 days after the national pandemic public health emergency has been lifted.
Now eligible are students who participate in state or federal work-study and those who have an expected family contribution of zero.
“Since the onset of this pandemic, college students already living with low incomes have experienced significant life disruptions including increased food insecurity,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Michelle Asha Cooper in a press release. “No student should have to worry about where their next meal will come from while balancing their studies. Informing eligible students of these benefits can help ease that uncertainty.”