College Students

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Help for college students

Special SNAP eligibility rules apply to college students between the ages of 18 and 49 who are enrolled half-time or more in a course of study that requires a high school diploma (HiSET) or GED. 


To be SNAP eligible, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You are attending a community college and pursuing an associate’s degree or certificate program.
  • You receive a MASSGrant from the Mass Department of Higher Education or a Pell Grant.
  • You are doing a work-study job or you have been awarded work-study (even if you don’t currently have a work-study job).
  • You are working for pay an average of 20 hours a week or more.
  • You have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0.
  • You receive TAFDC benefits.

For other eligibility criteria, call the FoodSource Hotline at 800.645.8333.

Community College Students

DTA has special rules that allow many MA low-income community college students to qualify for SNAP if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have a declared major at your community college.
  • You have been awarded work study, MassGrant or Pell Grant.
  • You have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0.

Students on summer break or vacation

You are still SNAP eligible while on summer or vacation break as long as you are enrolled for the upcoming term. You are no longer considered “continuously enrolled” once you graduate, are suspended, expelled, drop out, or you are planning to enroll in college in the coming months but the term has not started yet.

Students living with spouse or parents

If you live with your parents and you are under age 22, you must be part of their SNAP household, even if you purchase and prepare your own food separately. If you are married and live with your spouse, you must be part of their SNAP household.

Students with meal plans

If you live on campus and get most (more than 2/3) of your meals through your meal plan, you do not qualify for SNAP. However, you may be eligible for SNAP when you are home during summer break if your family also gets SNAP, assuming you meet the other student status rules.

Project Bread is an official SNAP Outreach Partner of The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

As a SNAP Outreach Partner of DTA, Project Bread's role is to make it easier for people in Massachusetts to get SNAP and help anyone having trouble applying.