Rhode Island Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program


Quick Facts

Rhode Island
Administering Program Name
Rhode Island Department of Human Services, Office of Health and Human Services

Are College Students Eligible for SNAP?

Students, ages 18-49, attending an institution of higher education, like a college, university, trade school, or technical school more than half-time are eligible for SNAP IF they meet an exemption AND meet all other SNAP eligibility requirements. You can ask your school what qualifies as “half-time.”

First, What Are Student Exemptions?

COVID-19 Temporary Update

As of January 16, 2021, a student is exempt if they meet one of the qualifications:

1) They are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular school year. You school determines if you are eligible for work study


2.) They have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year (based on the FASFA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

In addition to the temporary COVID-19 exemptions, students can always meet one of the following exemptions to qualify for SNAP:

  • Are under age 18 or are age 49 or older.
  • Physically or mentally unfit for employment;
  • Receiving benefits Rhode Island Works;
  • Caretaking for a child under the age of six;
  • Responsible for care of a child under the age of 12 for whom adaquet childcare is not avalible.
  • Employed or self-employed for a minimum of 20 hours per week, or receiving weekly earnings which meet or exceed the state minimum wage, whichever is higher, when multiplied by 30 hours;
  • A student enrolled at least half time in any recognized school, including training programs, or institutions of higher education, provided that the participation in these educational activities is the result of participation in SNAP E&T.

Second, What Are Income Requirements?

This chart shows the gross monthly eligibility standard based on family size considering 130% of the Federal Poverty Line, or FPL. The FPL is set by the federal government each year is calculated centered on family size and income. FPL determines eligibility for many federal and state public programs.

Household Size Gross Monthly Income
(130% of FPL)
Net Monthly Income
(100% of FPL)
1 $1,396 $1,074
2 $1,888 $1,452
3 $2,379 $1,830
4 $2,871 $2,209
5 $3,363 $2,587
6 $3,855 $2,965
7 $4,347 $3,344
8 $4,839 $3,722
Each Additional Member + $492 + $379

How Do I Apply?

You don’t need to go to an office! You can apply online or call for a paper application at 1-855-840-4774, and receive your EBT card in the mail. The quickest and easiest way to apply for SNAP is online through Health Source RI at healthyrhode.ri.gov.

If you are eligible, you will be able to access your SNAP benefits no later than 30 days from the date the office received your application. If you have very little or no income for the month and you need help right away, you may qualify for SNAP benefits within 7 days.

Where/How to Use

SNAP benefits can only be used to buy food, and plants and seeds to grow food for your household to eat. You can use your EBT card to purchase food at any grocery store, farmers’ market, or online website that accepts SNAP like Aldi, Amazon and Walmart. Visit dhs.ri.gov to learn more about shopping for groceries online with your SNAP benefits and more.

Use the map on the FreshEBT app to find grocery stores and farmers markets near you.

This page was last updated on October 12, 2021.

Quick Facts

Rhode Island
Administering Program Name
Rhode Island Department of Human Services, Office of Health and Human Services

Outreach Organizations

Resources & Contacts