College Connect: Some College Students Can Qualify for Government Support to Meet Basic Needs

Posted By Crystal Beasley

By Brittany Johnson

The cost of living in college is costly. Students are responsible for tuition, textbooks, rent, and other miscellaneous bills that can make paying for food seem like an option, rather a necessity.

Ariel Mallory, a senior digital and broadcast journalism major at the University of Georgia, said she participates in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), despite the negative social stigma that surrounds being on welfare.

“I receive SNAP benefits and it’s very beneficial to me,” said Mallory, “I am considered an independent student living in a single household and they really help me out so I don’t have to buy groceries.”

Ariel said she is an off-campus resident with extremely high rent. She said her SNAP benefits help her out tremendously as a college student because the money she saves on groceries is spent on other responsibilities.

“Instead of using that money to go to the grocery store, I could use it to pay for other bills that I have,” she explained.

Diann Moorman, associate professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics at UGA said social programs like SNAP is something she knows about from personal experience.

Moorman married her former husband at the age of 18 and had two children while pursuing an education at Iowa State University. She said she would not have finished college without financial support from government assistance programs.

“I wouldn’t have gone [to Iowa State University] if there had not been the food stamp program, supplemental housing for my children and I to live in because we weren’t getting child support, or free daycare for me while I was a student at the university,” Moorman said.

Moorman maintained there should be more governmental programs for students on college campuses, especially to help homeless students who do not have a place to live.

She proposed the university should allocate rooms to at-risk and needy students so that their focus is primarily on completing their coursework.

“Why doesn’t every residence hall here allocate one room that isn’t for profit?” she asked, “The benefit of putting the money into these programs is that these people are going to graduate and pay taxes.”

Moorman insisted that the government should offer more “helping hands” to at-risk students, particularly allocating government funds in the beginning stages of these social programs so that these students can grow and become something great in the end.

Brittany Johnson is a student at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia

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