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New SNAP Rule Impacts College Students by Limiting Benefits and Adding Confusion

Some low-income college students are among the 688,000 food stamp recipients projected to lose benefits as a result of a Trump administration rule announced Dec. 4. While the rule explicitly targets “able-bodied adults without dependents,” it also limits food assistance for a share of college students at a time when campuses across the country are grappling with how to respond to food insecurity.

The new rule makes it harder for states to waive the requirement that adults work at least 20 hours a week in order to receive their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP — benefits. Policy experts say it will limit benefits for college students enrolled less than half of the time while further complicating the already confusing process of determining students’ eligibility and connecting them to resources.