College Student Eligibility Information

Students need to meet AT LEAST ONE of the following:

  • Working and getting paid for at least 20 hours per week OR a total of 80 hours a month on average.
  • Approved (or awarded or accepted) for federal or state work study, anticipates working, and have not refused a work assignment (can still be eligible even if a work study job has not begun or is not currently available).
  • Students attending CSU or UC, receiving Cal Grant A or B, and falling within the following qualifications: unmarried; AND 25 years of age or younger; AND household income less than $50,000 (per FAFSA application).
  • Enrolled in a state funded program that increases employability (EOP, EOPS, WIOA, DSPS, CARE, McNair Puente Project, or MESA)*.
  • Enrolled in a program that increases employability for current and former foster youth (Guardian Scholars, FYSI, CAFYES, ETV or Extended Foster Care)**.
  • Exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 OR between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county on a case-by-case basis) OR are a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12.
  • Participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CFET) or Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS), or be a recipient of CalWORKs or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

Other Things to Consider

  • Students who live with their parents must be 22 years of age or older in order to apply as an individual household.
  • International DACA and DREAM students have been shown to not be eligible, even with a work VISA/SSN
  • Out-of-state students can still be eligible for CalFresh if they are residing in California for the school year.
  • Student eligibility is based on enrollment at a higher education institution, which are defined as either: business, trade, technical or vocational schools normally requiring a high school diploma or GED to enroll; or a junior, community, two-year or four-year college or university, or graduate school, regardless whether a high school diploma or GED is required.
  • Veterans and foster youth may have many different forms of income. The applicant's eligibility worker will help them determine what income counts and what doesn't. All will need to be reported on the application.

*Please see the CalFresh Resource Center Policy webpage for details.  Scroll down to "CalFresh Student Eligibility: Approved Programs to Increase Employability"
**For program descriptions, please see ACL 17-05.