The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released the results of a study on food insecurity among college students in a new report, Food Insecurity: Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits.
Increasing evidence indicates that some college students are experiencing food insecurity, which can negatively impact their academic success. However, college students are only eligible for SNAP in certain cases. Given the substantial federal investment in higher education and the risk posed if students do not complete their degrees, GAO was asked to review food insecurity among college students.
The report examines:
- what is known about the extent of food insecurity among college students and their use of SNAP;
- how selected colleges are addressing student food insecurity; and
- the extent to which federal programs assist students experiencing food insecurity. GAO reviewed relevant federal laws and agency documents and studies on student food insecurity; analyzed 2016 federal student data (the most recent available), and visited four states, selected based on actions taken to address student food insecurity, geographic diversity, and other factors. GAO interviewed researchers; officials from Education, FNS national and regional offices; and officials at 14 colleges, including students at 8 of these colleges. GAO also emailed all state SNAP agencies about their efforts related to students.
To find out what the GOA Recommends and to download a summary of the findings or the full report, visit the Food Insecurity: Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits web page.