Additional Financial Resources
Students may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a Federal program that provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of low-income individuals and families so they can purchase healthy food. Eligible students can use SNAP benefits to buy food for their households, including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, breads, cereals, and other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages.
Generally, students attending an Institution of Higher Education half-time or more are not eligible for SNAP unless they meet certain requirements, such as working 20 hours per week or caring for a child. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 temporarily added two new provisions allowing eligibility for students who have an expected family contribution (EFC) of zero (0) or who are eligible to participate in State or Federally funded work study. These temporary provisions are in effect until 30 days after the end of the Federal COVID-19 public health emergency.
In many States, students can apply online, in-person, by phone, or by mail. Students can find their local office or State SNAP webpage using the SNAP State Directory of Resources. For more information about student eligibility and other student exemptions, visit the SNAP Students webpage.
Affordable Connectivity Program
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act modified and extended the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) to a longer-term broadband affordability program called the Affordable Connectivity Program. The aim of this $14.2 billion program is to provide eligible low-income households, especially households with students, with access to broadband service at an affordable rate. Students who received a Pell Grant are one category of people who are eligible for the subsidy. Eligible households can receive a benefit of up to $30 off their monthly internet bill (or up to $75 per month if the household resides on qualifying Tribal lands). Students can apply here starting on December 31, 2021. Households that were fully enrolled in the EBBP by December 31st will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. Some participating providers are also offering an additional one-time benefit of up to $100 off a connected device (desktop computer, laptop, or tablet) supplied by that participating provider. Households are required to contribute more than $10 but less than $50 toward that connected device.
Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.
There are three ways for eligible households to apply:
- Contact a participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process. If an eligible household is unable to apply directly, it may apply by using option 2 or 3 below, and then contacting a participating provider to select a service plan.
- Go to ACPbenefit.org to apply online and to find local participating providers. After applying, contact a participating provider to select a service plan.
- Call 877-384-2575 for a mail-in application or print a copy, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to:
Affordable Connectivity Program Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742
To receive this benefit, a student will need to provide documentation that the student received a Federal Pell Grant for the current award year. The student may provide along with their application a screenshot from the student’s StudentAid.gov profile that displays their receipt of the Federal Pell Grant or other records provided by the Institution of Higher Education to serve as that documentation.
Health Insurance Enrollment
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded access to high quality, affordable health insurance through the ACA health insurance marketplaces, such as HealthCare.gov, and Medicaid. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) temporarily expanded the financial assistance available for individuals buying their own health insurance through the ACA health insurance marketplaces, saving individuals, on average, $50 per month. Four out of five enrollees will be able find a plan for $10 or less per month after the ARP’s expanded financial assistance is applied. Individuals who enroll in health coverage through Medicaid will have access to free or low-cost quality, health care.