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Timeframe for Higher Ed Student Status

  • begins on the first day of the school term for students who are attending for the first time or have taken a break longer than one normal school term.

  • ends when a student graduates, the student drops out, the student does not intend to attend the next normal school term, or the school expels or suspends the student.

The student’s status as a higher education enrollee lasts through school-scheduled breaks and vacation. The summer school term does not count as a normal school term.

Example 1:

Greta, a recent high school graduate, applies on August 8 for SNAP benefits. During her interview, she reports her enrollment at the University of Tulsa. Her classes begin on August 20. Is she a student at institution of higher education for her August 8 application?

SNAP determines a student’s status on the application date. Since Greta has yet to begin taking classes at application, she is not yet a student enrolled in higher education. She does not have to meet an exemption to receive SNAP. You will reevaluate her status at the mid-certification renewal.

Example 2:

Jovanni applies for SNAP on June 18. He attends half-time at the local university. He took classes in the spring toward his associate degree. He reports he has not enrolled in summer school but intends to attend for the fall semester. Is Jovanni a higher education student? 

Yes, Jovanni remains a student, and he must meet an exemption. In order for a break from school to end student status, the student must not intend to return or fail to enroll in a normal school term. The summer school term is not a normal school term.   

Example 3:

Myasia applies for SNAP benefits on April 16. At her interview, she reports her college expelled her effective the end of the spring semester. The college’s online calendar shows that the spring term ends on May 1. She does not report an exemption to higher education student status. Is Myasia still a student of higher education?

Myasia does not stop being a student until the college expels her. She must verify she is exempt from the higher education student policy to receive benefits in April. Unless she verifies an exemption, she does not qualify before May.

Example 4:

Keith formally dropped all his classes at the University Central Oklahoma on March 16. He applied for SNAP benefits on March 17. Is he a higher education student?

Keith stopped being a student enrolled in higher education by dropping his classes. He may participate in SNAP benefits without meeting a higher education student exemption.

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