Below you'll find common questions and answers about SNAP (food stamps) for college students in Multnomah County.

What's on this page:

College or University Eligibility

Can college students get benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

Yes! Most able-bodied students ages 18 through 49 who attend higher education at least half-time may be eligible for SNAP!


If I am attending class less than half time do I have to meet income guidelines and additional criteria?

No, just income guidelines.


I am on a seasonal/holiday break from school right now, am I still considered a student?

If your break is during a normal school break such as spring, summer or winter break, you are still considered a student and must meet income and additional criteria.


I have a meal plan at school, but it doesn’t cover all of my meals, would I be eligible for food benefits?

No, if you are receiving any kind of a meal plan from your school, whether you choose to use it or not, you are not eligible to receive SNAP benefits.


I attend a local community college to complete classes for my GED. Am I considered a student of higher education?

You are not considered in higher education and therefore don’t need to meet student criteria.


I attend a trade school. Is the school considered higher education?

Trade or vocational schools that require a high school diploma or GED meet the definition of higher education. You would need to meet one of the additional criteria for students.


I am attending higher education and I am 50+ years old, do I have to meet income and additional criteria?

No, those ages 50+ do not need to meet additional criteria, only income.

Work Study

How do I know if my work study is federally funded?

Your financial aid award letter should indicate whether you are work study eligible. If you have any questions, please contact your financial aid office.


Can I work one hour per week of work study and be eligible for SNAP?

Yes, working in a federally funded work study position at any number of hours per week will make you eligible for SNAP.


How do I apply for federal work study?

Contact your financial aid office.


I am not receiving work study because the school no longer has funding. They told me if there were available funds I would qualify for work study. Does this make me eligible for SNAP?

No, you must have an actual award of work study. This means you would normally have a financial aid award letter that includes the work study award and be assigned a work study job.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Is my financial aid considered income?

If financial aid is being used for personal expenses such as paying for food, rent and utilities, then it is considered income. If you are only using your financial aid for educational expenses such as tuition, textbooks and fees, then it is not considered income.


Are private scholarships considered income?

Yes, private scholarships and scholarships through the Veterans Administration are counted as income.


Will receiving SNAP benefits affect my financial aid?

No.


Do I have to be receiving financial aid in order to receive SNAP?

No.


If I’m receiving financial aid will it affect how much I receive in food benefits?

It depends. Some types of financial aid do not count as income (loans, specific grants, and any Title IV funds). If you are receiving benefits through the Veterans Administration or private scholarships those do count as income and may affect the amount of food benefits you receive.

Additional Criteria

I meet the income and additional criteria however I live at home with my parents. Will I need to include my parents in my application?

If you are a student and under the age of 22, then you must include your family in the application.


What is the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Program?

This program helps connect job seekers with programs relating to employment. If you participate in a WorkSource program you may be eligible for SNAP.


What is the age requirements for the care of a child?

If you are a student and responsible for the care of a child, they must be five years old or younger, to receive SNAP. You may also be eligible to receive assistance from Women, Infants and Children (WIC).


Is the income eligibility table based off of gross income or net income?

Income eligibility is based on gross income; before tax deductions.


Does child support count as income?

Yes.


What if I have savings in my bank account?

Amounts in a bank account are considered an asset because it is a resources that could be available to the household to purchase food. Assets must fall below certain limits; households without an elderly or disabled member must have assets of $2,250 or less, and households with an elderly or disabled member must have assets of $3,250 or less.


I do not meet any of the criteria; can the other people in my home receive food benefits?

Yes. Student eligibility is based on the individual student. If there are other people in your household who may be eligible, they may apply for benefits. If you are an ineligible student, your income will not be considered when determining how much they will receive in benefits.