AB 2810 – Encourages Institutions Of Higher Education To Use FAFSA Data To Inform Students Of Eligibility For CalFresh

CATEGORY: Private Education Matters, Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education, Public Education
DATE: Oct 18, 2022

Under existing law, CalFresh, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides nutrition assistance benefits to eligible individuals to the extent permitted by federal law.  Existing federal law provides that students who are enrolled in college or other institutions of higher education at least one-half time are not eligible for SNAP benefits unless they meet one of several specified exemptions, and encourages institutions of higher education to use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to aid in the administration of several federal benefits programs, including SNAP.

Assembly Bill 2810 (AB 2810) codifies the federal administrative guidance encouraging institutions of higher education to use FAFSA data to inform students of eligibility for CalFresh, and conforms the definition of “half-time” to the federal definition for the purposes of determining a student’s CalFresh eligibility.  As such, “half-time” means enrollment in at least one-half of the number of credits needed each semester or term to graduate within four years of enrollment as a first-time freshman or within two years of enrollment as a transfer student.

AB 2810 encourages but does not require, independent institutions of higher education and private postsecondary educational institutions to use FAFSA data to identify students who meet the income qualifications for the CalFresh program and to send students an email to their campus-based email account notifying them of their eligibility with contact information for the local county welfare agency and the designated campus staff who can assist the student in applying for the CalFresh program.

(AB 2810 adds Section 66023.6 to the Education Code.)

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