SNAP for Students FAQ

You might be eligible for SNAP benefits (funds for groceries from the government!) Fill out this quick survey to learn more.

Who is eligible for SNAP based on citizenship status?

Does receiving SNAP benefits affect taxes? 

  • No. SNAP benefits do not count as taxable income, so they don’t affect your taxes. 

How do students’ roommates affect household size?

  • If you do not buy and eat most of your food together, your roommates do not count as part of your household and you would be considered an individual/household of 1. 
    • The application might still ask about your roommates, but you don’t need to list their incomes.
  • If you do buy and eat most of your food together, your roommates do count as part of your household. 
    • If you apply together as a household, you need to list all of your incomes, but you’ll also be awarded more benefits based on the number of people in the household.

Does being a dependent affect SNAP eligibility?

  • If a student does not live with family (regardless of if they are dependent or independent) they can apply for SNAP on their own, without including their families income
  • If the student is under 22 years of age and lives at home with their parents, they must apply for SNAP benefits as a family and include all family members’ incomes

Can PSEO students receive SNAP?

  • If the PSEO student is under 22 and living with their parents, they must all apply for SNAP as a household. 

When do the temporary changes to SNAP for college students end?

These student exemptions are effective beginning in January 2021 and continuing until whichever is later:

  • 30 days after the federal health emergency is declared over 


  • The student’s next recertification (one year after their application date)

What is the recertification process like for SNAP benefits?

  • One year after the application is approved, a recertification packet will be sent directly to the mailing address on your file.
    • In some cases, recertification may be needed after only 6 months or not until 24 months after approval, but typically SNAP in Minnesota is approved for 12 months at a time.
  • The recertification process is very similar to the original application process, except that you’re not starting from scratch.
  • An interview with a county worker may be required as part of the recertification process.  

If a student is on a meal plan, does this impact eligibility?

Yes, if a student receives 50% or more of their meals by the institution they are not eligible for SNAP benefits. 

Meal Plan Eligible for SNAP Benefits
15-Plus Meal Plan with 100 flex points Probably not
10-Plus Meal Plan with 150 flex points Probably not
5-Plus Meal Plan with 345 flex points Probably yes
Block 100 with 345 flex points Probably yes
Block 150 with 150 flex points Probably yes


Do internships count toward the 20 hours per week work requirement?

  • Unpaid internships do not count toward the hourly work requirements.
  • If the internship is paid, then yes, it would count towards the 20 hours per week work requirements. 
  • If you qualify for work-study (even if you don’t actually do it or don’t work the full 20 hours per week), you can be eligible for SNAP.
    • If you’re not sure if you qualify for work-study, check with the Financial Aid office.

What if your job/hours/income change during the application process or after approval?

  • If you start working less than you did when you applied, you may have to report a reduction in work hours and any income changes to the county worker.
    •  The county worker will decide if you still meet the required work hours. 
  • SNAP recipients have two different reporting requirements for changes:
    • If you are a six-month reporter, you have to report when your income goes up about 130% for your household size.
    • If you are a change reporter, you need to report income changes of $100. 
  • Changes must be reported by the 10th of the month following the month of the change.

Does financial aid count as income? 

Financial aid that does not count as income includes:

  • Title IV financial aid, which is financial aid that is wholly or partially funded by the United States Department of Education, including (but not limited to):
    • Pell or Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program (BEOG) grants
    • Presidential Access Scholarships (Super Pell)
    • Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
    • Minnesota State Scholarships and Grants
    • Stafford Loan (formerly Guaranteed Student Loan)
    • PLUS loans, etc.
  • Tribal Development Student Assistance Revolving Loans (DSARLP) made under the Tribal Development Student Assistance Act. 
  • Income from Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) student assistance programs, formerly known as Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
  • Non-Title IV or BIE student loans if repayment is non-deferred.

Financial aid that does count as income includes:

  • Non-Title IV or BIE, student loans if repayment is deferred.

For non-Title IV or BIE student loans, “deferred” means the financial institution does not require repayment for 60 days or more from when the loan was issued

  • Whether or not you’re currently making payments does not affect whether a loan is a “deferred” payment loan.