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Office of Leadership, Service and Career

Student Eligibility

Things to consider before applying for CalFresh:

  • International, DACA, and DREAM students will not be eligible, even with a work VISA/SSN.
  • Out-of-state students can still be eligible for CalFresh Foods if they are residing in California for the school year.
  • Students with a state certified disability only need to meet basic eligibility.
  • You have the right to apply for CalFresh even if it seems like you may not be eligible.

For more information on the full CalFresh Application Process or to complete our Prescreen Survey, please visit our pages here.

Basic Eligibility

Does your household include at least one US citizen, a person with a Green Card, or lawful permanent resident (LPR)?
  • To find out more about Immigrant eligibility for CalFresh, visit GetCalFresh.
Is anyone in your household provided with less than half (10 or less) meals per week from another source (like a campus meal plan)?
  • Students who live on campus and receive the Unlimited Meal Plan are not eligible.
  • Students who live with their parents and are under the age of 22 must apply with them.
Is anyone in your household a college student per CalFresh Food guidelines?
  • Between the age of 18 - 49?
  • Enrolled in college at least half time?
Is your household under the gross monthly income limit?
  • Household = a person living alone or a group of people living together who purchase and prepare food together.
  • Housemates/roommates are not considered part of your household if you do not purchase and prepare food together.

Income Guidelines

October 1, 2021 - September 30, 2022

Household Size

Gross Monthly Income

Maximum Allotment

$20 - $250
$20 - $459
$20 - $658
$20 - $835
$20 - $992
$20 - $1,190
$20 - $1,316
$20 - $1,504
*The maximum allotment is not guaranteed.


Student Eligibility

Students also need to meet AT LEAST ONE of the following:
  • Receiving Cal Grant A or B and have received a California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) TANF letter.
  • Eligible for Federal Work Study (temporary changes)
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0  (temporary changes)
  • Work and getting paid for at least 20 hours per week or a total of 80 hours per month per average
  • Enrolled in a program that increases employability (full list of programs listed here):
    • Fiat Lux
    • Guardian Scholars
    • Registered with the UC Merced Student Accessibility Services Office
  • Exerting parental control over a dependent under the age of 6 or between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate child-care or a single parent of a dependent under the age of 12
  • Participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CFET) or Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS), or be a recipient of CalWORKS or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
More Information about student exemptions can be found here.