Quick Facts

Administering Program Name
Department for Children and Families

Are College Students Eligible for SNAP?

Yes! As a college or graduate student enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for 3SquaresVT if you meet the income guidelines and a work requirement or exemption. *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 18 years old or older than 50.
  • Have a physical or mental disability.
  • Work an average of 20 hours a week in paid employment.
  • Participate in a state or federally financed work study program.
  • Participate in an on-the-job training program.
  • Care for a child under the age of 6.
  • Care for a child age 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.
  • Are a single parent enrolled full-time in college and taking care of a child under 12.
  • Receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance.
  • Are enrolled in a TANF Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program.
  • Are assigned to, placed in, or self-placed in a college or other institution of higher education through:
    • A SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program;
    • Certain other E&T programs for low-income households, which are operated by a state or local government and have an equivalent component to SNAP E&T;
    • A program under Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA);
    • A Trade Adjustment Assistance Program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974.

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, and receive your EBT card in the mail. The quickest and easiest way to apply for 3SquaresVT is online at https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/3SquaresVT.

The entire application process is guaranteed to take no more than 30 days from the date your application is received. 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.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you will need to complete a short phone interview with a 3SquaresVT Benefit Specialist. This interview is just to review your application, ensure accuracy, and be sure you share any additional documents information needed to review your application.

Where/How to Use

If your application is approved, you’ll be mailed an EBT card that you can use at any grocer, co-op, convenience store, or farmers market that accepts 3SquaresVT; in Vermont, that’s over 600 grocery stores, and 30 farmers markets. A lot of stores and farmers markets offer programs that will double your dollar.

You can also buy food at a few online stores like Amazon Pantry, Walmart, Aldi, and PriceChopper. Visit dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/EBT/online to learn more about shopping for groceries online. 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.