Expansion of SNAP Benefits

Education Department Amplifies USDA Expansion of SNAP Benefits to Help Students Pursuing Postsecondary Education During Pandemic 

As part of its ongoing efforts to ease the economic burden on millions of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education—in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—issued guidance to postsecondary institutions to inform them about temporarily expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility for students in need.

“Since the onset of this pandemic, college students already living with low incomes have experienced significant life disruptions including increased food insecurity,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Michelle Asha Cooper. “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.”

The guidance encourages institutions of higher education to coordinate with campus stakeholders to notify eligible students. Today’s action follows Jan. 29 guidance reminding institutions that they have the authority to adjust financial aid packages to account for students’ and families’ current financial circumstances. These outreach efforts align with President Biden’s Jan. 22 Executive Order directing all federal agencies to address the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic.

“This health and economic crisis has left millions out of work or struggling to cover basic expenses. 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. “The guidance issued today is part of the Biden Administration’s push to act quickly to address hunger and support those who are struggling.”

Under regular SNAP eligibility requirements, students enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education are typically ineligible for SNAP benefits unless they meet certain specific exemptions. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 temporarily expands SNAP eligibility to include students who either:

  • Are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular academic year, as determined by the institution of higher education; or
  • Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year. This includes students who are eligible for a maximum Pell Grant.

Beginning Jan. 16, 2021, students who meet one of the two criteria outlined above may receive SNAP benefits if they meet all other financial and non-financial SNAP eligibility criteria. The new, temporary exemptions will be in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted. More information can be found on the SNAP benefits for students webpage and Q&A on student eligibility.

Because state SNAP agencies administer the SNAP program, process applications, and determine eligibility, students should contact their local SNAP offices to learn how to apply or to ask other questions. Institutions of higher education with questions about student SNAP eligibility, including the temporary expansion, should contact their state SNAP agency.

Contact information for state SNAP agencies and local offices can be found in the FNS SNAP state directory.

#USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

2020-2021 HSI Program Office Hours

Starting on Thursday Oct. 29th the HSI Program will have office hours to answer any questions regarding our new HSI Program solicitation and talk with PIs and potential PIs. Our new solicitation is more attentive to HSIs needs and has new opportunities and different tracks! The zoom link and connection instructions are on our HSI Program website and below is the schedule so you can see when certain Program Officers are scheduled to be there.  Please come by, bring your questions, and meet our Program Officers!

2020-2012 HSI Program Office Hours:

Weekly Office Hours will be held on the following Thursdays and Fridays from 3:00 to 5:00 EDT.  

Thursday October 29th, Friday October 30th
Thursday November 5th, Friday November 6th
Thursday November 12th, Friday November 13th
Thursday November 19th, Friday November 20th
Thursday December 3rd, Friday December 4th
Thursday December 10th, Friday December 11th
Thursday January 7th, Friday January 8th

3- 4 pm EST4-5 pm EST3-4 pm EST4 -5 EST
Thursday October 29th Erika Tatiana CamachoMike Davis  
Friday October 30th   Mike FerraraRobert Mayes
Thursday November 5thRobert MayesMike Davis  
Friday November 6th   Mike FerraraMary Crowe
Thursday November 12thErika Tatiana CamachoRobert Mayes  
Friday November 13th   Mike Ferrara Mary Crowe
Thursday November 19th TBD Robert Mayes  
Friday November 20th   Mike Ferrara Mary Crowe
Thursday December 3rdErika Tatiana CamachoMike Davis  
Friday December 4th   Jennifer LewisMary Crowe
Thursday December 10thErika  Tatiana CamachoRobert Mayes  
Friday December 11th   Jennifer LewisMary Crowe
Thursday January 7thErika Tatiana CamachoMike Davis  
Friday January 8th   Mary CroweMary Crowe

2021 TxHSIC Conference

Please Save the Date:  2021 Annual Conference of the Texas Hispanic-Serving Institutions Consortium will definitely take place on May 27-29, 2021, hosted by St. Edward’s University (SEU).  We hope the conference will be in-person on the campus of SEU, but the conference will take place whether by in-person, on-line, or hybrid format

NSF STEM Diversity & Inclusion Video Exhibition Challenge

Have you been the recipient of NSF funding for a project that included partnerships for
increasing diversity and inclusion in the STEM workforce?
Want to win one of (4) $2,500 Expert’s Choice Awards or one of (2) $1250 People’s Choice
Awards AND be featured on various NSF platforms?
Then don’t miss this chance to enter the
NSF STEM Diversity and Inclusion Video Exhibition Challenge
The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites you to submit a 1- to 3-minute video that
showcases how your NSF-funded work has led to innovative, effective, and replicable
approaches to building a diverse and inclusive science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics (STEM) workforce through partnerships.
Who can enter?
Any primary investigator (PI or Co-PI) that has been or is currently supported by NSF. You must
be 18 or older to enter and a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident as of June 25, 2020. An NSF
award number is required for submission.
What are the entry categories?
Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams of up to four people in any of the following categories:

  1. Informal STEM Education
  2. PreK-12 STEM Education
  3. STEM Higher Education
  4. STEM Alliances
    How will videos be judged?
    Videos will be evaluated by a panel of judges, based on the following criteria:
  5. Approach, Impact and Sustainability (40%)
  6. Visual Appeal (15%)
  7. Effective Communication (25%)
  8. Originality (20%).
    Submission Deadline
    June 25, 2020
    For more information on how to submit an entry, visit the competition website: