US Continues Support For Struggling Students For Next 30 Days

United States North America COVID-19 by Erudera News Mar 02, 2021

United States (US)

The United States Department of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, has expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s eligibility for students in need. 

According to Erudera.com, the move was made in a bid to ease many Americans’ difficult economic situation during the pandemic.

“No student should have to worry about where their next meal will come from while balancing their studies. Informing eligible students of these benefits can help ease that uncertainty,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Michelle Asha Cooper.

Following President Biden’s January 22 Executive Order, according to which federal agencies should address the pandemic’s economic crisis, the guidance second action is adapting to offer financial aid packages for students who are currently in difficult financial situations.

“We are pleased to work with our partners at the Department of Education to help inform students about the recent expansion of SNAP eligibility for low-income students,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Stacy Dean.

According to The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, students that can benefit from SNAP are the ones that do not expect upcoming family contribution, including here students eligible for maximum Pell Grant.

Also, following the move, students can practice federally financed work-study during the academic year.

The regular SNAP requirements for students enrolled in higher education institutions that attend at least half-time studies do not meet SNAP benefits criteria unless they have other specific exceptions.

Starting from January 16, students who met one of the two criteria and other financial and non-financial criteria have been eligible for SNAP. The temporary exemptions will be in effect for 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is updated.

Students who want to benefit from this program should contact their local or state SNAP Offices to learn how to apply or ask other questions.

Months ago, President Biden ordered the extension of loan payments for students until October 1, 2021, easing out students’ financial circumstances. During his campaign, Biden also encouraged canceling $10,000 for each student borrower.

“Immediate $10,000 forgiveness of student loans. They’re having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent. It should be done immediately,” Biden had said in November 2020, addressing the Congress.

The guidance issued is part of the Biden Administration’s urge to act immediately and effectively address hunger and support those who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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