Should college students get food stamps?

Young scholars protest after Michigan kicks 30,000 of them out of the state's food assistance program

Students in Michigan
(Image credit: Steve Prezant/CORBIS)

College students aren't typically eligible for federal food assistance, but in Michigan, many of them qualified for assistance under special rules — until now. The cash-strapped state has cut roughly 30,000 college students from its state food stamps program as part of an effort to save some $75 million per year. Is this unfair to needy students, or were they getting an undeserved free ride?

Many of them don't really need food stamps: This just ends "a wasteful practice that drew scarce resources from people who legitimately depend on government help to eat," says the The Grand Rapids Press in an editorial. While some students really need the boost, many were simply abusing the system. And remember: Single moms in school and students who work more than 20 hours a week can still qualify for assistance.

"Why most college students don't deserve food stamps in Michigan (editorial)"

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College kids should get jobs and get off the dole: "We want to encourage people to be self-sufficient, not to be dependent on the government," says Maura Corrigan, Michigan Human Services Director and a former state Supreme Court justice, as quoted in The Detroit News. I, for one, had a part-time job in school to pay the bills. Maybe more of today's students should do the same.

"30,000 college students kicked out of food aid program in Michigan"

Hold on. When did finding work get easy? "I am sure these students would like part-time work if the work was there for them to get," says "Kenneth," a grad student at Wayne State University, as quoted by World Socialist Web Site. Students aren't lazy. We're trying to get an education, and some of us just need a little help. These cuts are "despicable" and "have changed the atmosphere on campus, and not for the better."

"Thousands of Michigan students lose food stamp eligibility"

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