Should College Students Receive Welfare?



Raise your hand if you consumed copious amounts of Top Ramen in college (mine is shooting into the air). My roommates and I would sometimes make a dinner out of a large tortilla and side of guacamole from Albertos for $1.25. Blue box mac 'n' cheese from the dollar store was another staple of my college diet.

The college diet filled with carbs and sodium is a rite of passage. When days are filled with classes, studying, internships, clubs, jobs, etc., there is little time or money to dedicate to dinner. If there is money, it’s usually saved for beer or gadgets (iPhone, anyone?) or dates or insert-personal-pleasure-of-choice, not apples and low-fat milk.

Until recently, some 30,000 college students in Michigan didn’t have to make do solely with what they could scrounge together themselves. They were on food stamps.

Human Services Director Maura Corrigan cut the kids off in April of this year, saving the bankrupt state $75 million. The move is an effort to end the welfare culture of a state where 1 in 5 people receive food stamps to help make ends meet. In an interview with The Detroit News, Ms. Corrigan said, "Maybe [students] could go get a part-time job -- that's what I did ... we want to encourage people to be self-sufficient, not to be dependent on the government."

Single moms and other students working their way through school (20 hours or more per week) will not be affected.

I’m sure there will be much gnashing of teeth by the poor college kids who -- gasp! -- will now have to figure out how to take care of themselves. I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for them. College is a privilege, not a right. If you weren’t lucky enough to be born with a trust fund, or didn’t work hard enough in high school to earn an academic or merit scholarship, you’re going to have to find a way to pay for it.

Some people choose to skip college altogether, as their priorities lie in areas aside from higher education, like their young family. Some people work their fingers to the bone, so that someday their children will be better off than them. And sometimes, their children grow up to be United States senators

That’s the dream. Working hard to achieve something worthwhile, so that our children’s lives may be richer than our own. The dream is not trying to figure out how to scam the government out of $150 a month because it makes life a little easier.


Image via Sean MacEntee/Flickr

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organ... organicyogalove

No, everyone I personally know in college or that has gone through and graduated had a tremendous amount of financial support from their parents, and everyone they knew was in the same situation. There are the occasional "i had to bust my rump to support myself through college and work three jobs" or the ones with kids but still... if ya cant afford it then don't do it. 

hotic... hoticedcoffee

I'm actually shocked to hear that food stamps were an option for college students.  If you elect a lifestyle that leaves you broke, it's your responsibility to get a job so you can eat - not hold your hand out to the state.  Outrageous that young, intelligent (presumably, since they're in college) adults would be on government assistance - good for Corrigan for cutting them loose so they can grow up.

sunny... sunnybunny5us

Absolutely! college students should be eligible for welfare. The main reason people have to drop out of college is to work full time. If anyone deserves a hand up it would be those with a plan for self improvement. 

jkm89 jkm89

Maybe they should focus on getting illegal immigrants kicked off first before shafting legal citizens who are actually trying to better their lives, people who will make a real contribution to society. Hmmm.

Ember... Emberbaby

I fully support college students being eligible for food stamps. In our state a college student who works part time may be eligible for food stamp pending other requirements of course.  I'd rather college students get the temporary help they need than feeding the breeders on perpetual welfare.

momto... momtolittleg

I think I'm with emberbaby.  I struggled through college.  Sometimes my folks (who didn't pay a cent of my tuition) would give me $25 for groceries on payday, and man could I stretch that money!  All my friends had meal plans and ate nice dinners at the dining hall, and complained about it.  I would've LOVED to not have to worry about that.  I also worked 20 hours a week to help pay for books and gas/bus pass.  All of my tuition was in loans that I am STILL paying on.  It sucks.  I wish they'd find a way to reduce the cost of tuition- I loved my college, but I know some of my money went to support our sports teams that i couldn't have cared less about.

butte... butterflymkm

Agree with sunnybunny. I agree with pell grants and student loans and food stamps for college students if needed. Not everyone's parents can afford to help

them with college and these kids are working to e able to provide better for the long run. In my mind it's an investment in our kids futures, what better thing is there to support? This truly is a hand up, not a hand out. If they get a degree and a good job they will contribute so much more to the tax system then they ever took. And yeah a lot of college kids live on ramen, but that food isn't going to fuel your body & brain well and we want them to have good food so they can function well & get good grades. Same thing with part time work, every major and every students situation is different and if they are in a very rigorous field like medicine and/or have a very heavy class load, they just may not have the time to study & go to class & work & sleep.

xavie... xavierlogan09

i think they should be able to get food stamps. Our government is all about getting people off of assistance. So if someone is going to college to better their lives then they should get it. But only til they are out of college. Also who is to say these students don't already have jobs but still can't afford food.


Heck NO! If you can't afford to go to college, don't go. Or better yet, work for a year or so, save your money and then go. My parents and I had to save money for us to go. Why teach kids entitlement at such a young age? If you give people welfare, why bother going to college? What will that teach anyone? The ramon noodles are a big part of learning about how to spend your money and how to save it. College is about learning and part of that learning is dealing with money.


BTW xaveirlongan, our government is broke! Where do you think this welfare and food stamps will come from? Oh, I know, lets tax people who go out and work everyday! Because they should "share" their money!

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