Eligibility & Allotment


Per federal and state policy, only US citizens and certain lawfully present non-citizens may be eligible for SNAP benefits. This means, unfortunately, international, DACA, and undocumented students may not qualify for SNAP.

Below are some common reasons you can be eligible for SNAP as a college student (undergraduate or graduate). You do not have to fit all these requirements to be eligible, only one:

  • You work at least 20 hours a week or 80 hours a month,
  • You participate in work study OR are eligible for work-study,
  • Your EFC is 0,
  • You have a physical or mental disability,
  • You care for a child under the age of 6,
  • You care for a child aged 6 to 11 and lack the necessary child care enabling you to attend school and work 20 hours a week or participate in work study,
  • You are a single parent enrolled full-time in college and taking care of a child under 12, or
  • You receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance.

If you are on a meal plan, you are often ineligible for SNAP benefits, regardless of other factors.

Click here to complete a SNAP Prescreener to test your eligibility. 

Click here for more information about SNAP eligibility requirements for college students.

COVID-19 Revisions

Since January 2021, DSHS temporarily expanded eligibility for college students. These expanded exemptions will be waived once the federal government lifts the official designation of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national emergency. Once that happens, DSHS will send out a notice 30 days before they modify the requirements.

Annual Household Income Limits

Household Size Maximum Income Level (Per Year, Before Taxes)


2 $34,840
3 $43,920
4 $53,000
5 $62,080
6 $71,160
7 $80,240
8 $89,320

To determine your household size, you must consider your age, who you live with, and who you split food and expenses with.

Living With Family
  • If you live with your family and are 22 or younger, regardless if you pay rent or your family does not financially support you, DSHS will ask for your family’s income for you to qualify for SNAP.
  • If you still live with your family and are older than 22, it becomes more complicated. DSHS may still ask for their income and you may have to prove that you split food and expenses with your family.
  • You must count your spouse and any dependents in the household size as well.
Not Living With Family
  • If you do not live with your family, regardless of your age, then your household size will be 1, as long as you and any roommates split food and expenses. DSHS may still ask if you receive financial support from your family. They may also ask about your roommates’ financial information, but it will not count towards your own income.

Benefit Allotment

People in Household Maximum Monthly Allotment
1 $250
2 $459
3 $658
4 $835
5 $992
6 $1,190
7 $1,316
8 $1,504
Each additional person + $188

Your allotment is usually calculated by multiplying your household's net monthly income by 0.3, and subtracting the result from the maximum monthly allotment for your household size. However, due to the new COVID-19 exemptions, qualifying college students are receiving the maximum allotment.