SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) –Thousands of New Mexico college students might be eligible for SNAP benefits, according to the New Mexico Human Services Department and Higher Education Department. “The pandemic has created many economic challenges particularly for college students and families with limited resources,” said Cabinet Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D in a news release. “Jobs for college students are scarce. College students have either had their hours reduced or lost their job altogether, making it difficult to meet their basic needs. We look forward to working with the Higher Education Department to spread the word and extend food benefits to New Mexico college students and urge congress to make this a permanent change.”

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 is temporarily expanding its SNAP eligibility to include students that are enrolled in a higher education institute at least half-time, who either:

  1. Are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work-study during the regular school year, as determined by the institution of higher education.
  2. Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 in the current academic year.

According to a news release from the New Mexico Human Services Department, starting on January 16, 2021, students who meet one of the two criteria may receive SNAP if they meet all other financial and non-financial SNAP eligibility criteria. The department states that this eligibility will stay in place until 30 days after the public health emergency ends.

The Biden Administration has reportedly advised that the declaration will likely remain in place until at least the end of 2021 and states will have 60 days’ notice before it ends. New Mexico college students who qualify and want to apply, can visit