Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Student Status and Educational Income






Food Stamp Table of Contents

Legal Reference:



Individuals enrolled in school are considered “students” only if they meet the student definition.   To be eligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program, a student also must meet at least one of the following criteria. 


(a)   Employment – an average of 20 Hours Per Week or 80 an Average of Hours Per Month


The student must actually work an average of 20 hours each week or an average of 80 hours per month and be paid for such employment. If self-employed, he/she must work an average of 20 hours each week or an average of 80 hours per month or have weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 20 hours.


Students paid or subsidized by WIA for class hours are not considered employed during that time. Such class attendance does not meet the average of 20 hours a week or average of 80 hour per month work requirement.


(b)   Work-Study


Participation, during the school year, in a state or federally financed work-study program funded in full or in part by Title IV, Part C, of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended).  The student must actually be working at a job for which he/she receives earnings or tuition credit.


(c)    Dependent Child Under Age 6


The student is responsible for the care of a child who is a dependent household member under age six.  If more than one adult is in the home, only one adult may claim responsibility for a child.  The household must determine who has this responsibility.


Note:  The student does not have to provide care for the child personally at all times.  The child may be in day care while the student is in class. 


(d)   Child Age 6 or Over, But Under Age 12 and Child Care is Unavailable


The student is responsible for the care of a child who is a dependent household member age 6 or over, but under age 12, for whom adequate child care is unavailable to enable the student to attend class or satisfy the 20-hour work requirement of the Food Stamp Act or participate in a State or Federally financed work study program during the regular school year. 


EXAMPLE:  When a student and his/her child are the only members of the household, adequate child care is not available.


Dora Copperfield is a student. She and her son David, age 7, live alone. Adequate child care is not available for David.


EXAMPLE:  Hester Prynne, a student, and her 8-year-old son, Max, live in the home of Hester’s parents.  Hester’s mother takes care of Max before and after school, while Hester is in classes.  In this situation, adequate child care is available.


(e)   Receipt of TANF Payments


The student is included in an TANF assistance unit and is receiving a money payment.


(f)     Workforce Investment Act


The student is assigned to or placed in an institution of higher education through a program under WIA.


(g)   Age 50


The maximum age level of students attending institutions of higher education who are prohibited from receiving food stamp assistance.


(h)   Employment Career Services


Students enrolled in institutions of higher education as a result of participation in Employment Career Services Programs.


(i)     Single Parents -- Child Under 12


Full-time students who are single parents responsible for the care of children under 12 regardless of the availability of adequate child care.


(j)     Employment and Training Program


Students assigned to institutions of higher education by E & T.


(k)   Trade Act of 1974


A program under section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974.


Glossary of Terms


Food Stamp Table of Contents