NeASFAA Informs College Students about SNAP, broadband benefits
March 19, 2021
Recently, NeASFAA sent a press release informing students of temporary expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility and the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The full press release is included below.
NeASFAA informs college students about SNAP, broadband benefits
The Nebraska Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators wants college and university students to know they may now qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program under a temporary program expansion, and the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act temporarily expands SNAP eligibility to include college students who are eligible for work-study during the regular academic year, or who have an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of $0 during this academic year.
In Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is the agency responsible for the process and guidance for individuals to apply. Information is online at https://dhhs.ne.gov/pages/accessnebraska.aspx.
In addition, under the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, a discount of up to $50 per month on broadband service, or a discount up to $100 to purchase a computer or tablet, is available for eligible households. Eligibility guidelines are established through the “Lifeline” program (https://www.fcc.gov/lifeline-consumers). Sample qualifiers include, receiving benefits under free/reduced-price school lunch or breakfast program now or during the 2019-20 school year, received a Pell Grant during the current college award year, experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020, or meet eligibility criteria under low-income or COVID-19 programs.
A webpage for the broadband benefit is at https://fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
Food insecurity and difficulty or inability in accessing technology to continue learning are two critical issues impacting college students during the COVID-19 Pandemic, said Renee Besse, president of NeASFAA and associate director of financial aid at University of Nebraska at Kearney. Besse said financial aid offices at Nebraska colleges and universities can provide resources, links and phone numbers to help students find out if they qualify for these two emergency programs. Financial Aid offices are the best places for students and their families to visit or contact whenever they have questions about funding their education, are facing financial stress, or need help finding work or planning their budgets.
“Your financial aid office is your best place to go for confidential assistance and support because they know you and your financial situation,” Besse said. “Any opportunity for students to take advantage of programs like these, and others, are to their benefit and they need to ask if they qualify. That’s what our offices are here for.”