LANSING — The state will expand eligibility for food assistance benefits on April 1 so that college students struggling financially can receive help and stay in school.
“College students should not have to choose between furthering their education and putting food on the table – especially during a pandemic,” Governor Whitmer said. “I am pleased that we are able to work with the Biden administration to help college students in Michigan who are working hard to pursue their dreams.”
The temporary change approved by the federal government makes college students eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits if their families are estimated to be unable to contribute to their college costs or if their college or university considers them eligible for a federal or state work study program, regardless of whether they are enrolled in such a program.
This change could make approximately 200,000 more college students eligible statewide.
Students are considered to have no family contribution to their college expenses if they have an estimated family contribution of $0 on their federal student aid determined through their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
To be eligible, students must attend college at least half time and meet income and other requirements for the food assistance.
Expanded eligibility will last until 30 days after the expiration of the federal public health emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Benefits could be as much as $234 per month for college students who buy and prepare their food alone.
Eligible students will receive Bridge Cards, which are Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards similar to debit cards, that can be used to purchase food at stores, farmers markets and even online from Amazon.
College students and others can determine if they are eligible and apply for food assistance at www.michigan.gov/MiBridges.