Can Graduate Students Get Food Stamps?

Purchase food with the aid of food stamps.

In the past, graduate students were ineligible to receive food stamp benefits while in school. Now that students may receive these benefits, individuals must meet certain requirements. Applications to receive these benefits are available for a student to pick up at the food stamp office closest to your physical address. If approved, recipients can use these benefits to purchase a variety of food items from any store that accepts food stamp cards as payment.


Work Requirement

A graduate student is eligible to receive benefits as long as he works 20 or more hours per week. If he is unable to work, he must be disabled before he is eligible. If neither of these applies to you, you must participate in a federal- or state-funded work-study program before becoming eligible for food stamps.


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Other Eligibility

You may also be eligible if you care for a child, other than your own, up to the age of 6. The child may be up to 11 years of age under certain circumstances, such as lack of adequate care. Parents of children under the age of 12 may also qualify for assistance. Additionally, if you receive family assistance benefits or are a part of the Jobs Training Partnership Act, you will be eligible for food stamps.



You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for food stamps unless you meet additional requirements. Foreign or noncitizen students may apply but must be a U.S. national, a qualified alien or have a social security number. You will need to show identification and proper paperwork, such as your social security card or alien paperwork, at the time of your appointment.


Income Requirements

Students must additionally be beneath a certain income limit before consideration into the food stamp program. This limit will vary depending on the location of your physical address. The amount you receive in wages, payments or money given to you on a regular basis, such as from your parents, is calculated in this amount. Excess loan or grant money is an exception as it does not affect your income eligibility limit.