Muskegon Community College low-income students, who were enrolled in career or technical education programs during the recently completed winter semester or who are enrolled in those programs during the 2020 summer and fall semesters, may become eligible to receive food assistance benefits through a new State of Michigan initiative.
The Michigan departments of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced the change in early May to combat rising food insecurity among students, exacerbated by COVID-19.
Previously, college students enrolled in qualifying Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs who attended school at least half-time could not qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), even if they met income eligibility requirements, unless they fell into certain categories such as working at least 20 hours per week, caring for a child, or being unable to work. Due to COVID-19, many students have lost their jobs, and as a result, they have lost their SNAP eligibility through no fault of their own.
With the change, college students will be eligible for SNAP if they meet income and other program requirements and are enrolled at least half-time in an occupational program that leads to employment under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the Twenty-First Century Act of 2018 known as Perkins V.
Currently, the Perkins Postsecondary CTE Program provides funding to 28 community colleges, three public universities and one tribal college to support pathways to high-wage, high-skilled and in-demand careers that require less than a bachelor’s degree.
Those institutions offer more than 3,600 qualifying programs, offering a certificate or associates degree to careers in fields such as information technology, health care, hospitality and manufacturing. There are 88,458 students enrolled in these programs in Michigan. Some of those students may already be receiving food assistance benefits, while others will become eligible for this new opportunity.
At Muskegon Community College, 1,095 students were enrolled in a Perkins V qualifying career or technical education programs during the recently completed Winter 2020 semester. MCC offers 83 Perkins V approved certificates or degrees. (The list appears below)
In order to qualify, students must meet all requirements of the Food Assistance Program, which Michigan administers to distribute federal SNAP benefits.
For anyone currently enrolled in a Perkins program with an existing food assistance case who has experienced a loss of income, their MDHHS caseworker will determine Perkins program status to ensure the benefits are correct.
Any Perkins student who wants to apply for food assistance should provide documentation from their school that outlines their major and program or course of study to assist in determining their eligibility for SNAP. Examples could include a proof of registration and a document showing their major, program, or course of study. A caseworker will use that information to determine eligibility.
Students interested in applying for food assistance can go to www.michigan.gov/MIBridges. Verification of enrollment in a Perkins program must be provided by the student or may be requested from the postsecondary institution. Learn more about the Perkins Postsecondary CTE Program at Michigan.gov/LEO-Perkins.
Muskegon Community College students in the following degree and certificate programs are eligible to apply for food assistance under the new initiative:
• Accounting/Office Management-Associate in Applied Science
• Administrative Assistant in AAS
• Administrative Assistant-Medical – AAS
• Administrative Medical Assistant-Certificate
• Administrative Office Management Medical – AAS
• Administrative/Office Management-AAS
• Agriculture- A.A.S.
• Apprenticeship Certificate
• Automotive Repair Entrepreneur-A.A.S.
• Automotive Technician Certificate
• Automotive Technology-Associate in Applied Science
• Automotive Technology-Certificate
• Biomedical Engineering Technology
• Bookkeeping Services Entrepreneurial- A.A.S.
• Broadcasting and Multimedia/Technical – AAS
• Broadcasting/Multimedia/Performance ASA
• C/Java Computer Programming-Certificate
• CAD/CNC-Associate in Applied Science
• Child Development Associate-Associate in Applied Science
• Child Development Associate-Certificate
• Computer Aided Draft/Design-Associate in Applied Science
• Computer Aided Draft/Design-Certificate
• Computer Networking Technology-Associate in Appl Science
• Computer Networking Technology-Certificate
• Computer Programming
• Criminal Justice Corrections
• Criminal Justice-Corrections-Associate in Applied Science
• Criminal Justice-Corrections-Associate in Science and Arts
• Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement- Associate in Applied Science
• Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement- Associate in Science and Arts
• Digital Game Development
• Early Child Ed-Instr Asst Spec Ed-Assoc Appl Science
• Early Childhood Education-Associate in Science & Arts
• Electronics Engineering Technology
• Electronics Technology-Associate in Applied Science
• Electronics Technology-Certificate
• Engineering Technology
• Engineering-Associate in Science
• Family Child Care Entrepreneur-AAS
• Food Science Certificate
• Graphic Design Entrepreneur
• Graphic Design Video/Audio-Certificate
• Graphic Design Web Design-Certificate
• Graphic Design-Associate in Applied Science
• Industrial Electrical Maintenance-Certificate
• Industrial Electricity – Certificate
• Industrial Maintenance-Certificate
• Industrial Technology-Associate in Applied Science
• Industrial Technology-Certificate
• Information Technology Support – AAS
• Instructional Assistant Special Education-AAS
• Interactive Media and Gaming: Game Designer-ASA
• Machining Technology-Associate in Applied Science
• Machining Technology-Certificate
• Machinist Certificate
• Management-Associate in Applied Science
• Manufacturing Automation Certificate
• Manufacturing Engineering Technology-A.A.S.
• Manufacturing Machine Repair
• Manufacturing Technology
• Marketing-Associate in Applied Science
• Medical Assistant Certificate
• Medical Office Management-Associate in Applied Science
• Music Performance Entrepreneurial – AAS
• Nursing-Associate in Applied Science
• Office Assistant-Certificate
• Office Management – Associate in Applied Science
• Patternmakers Certificate
• Quality Assurance-Certificate
• Respiratory Therapy-Associate in Applied Science
• Software Development – AAS
• Teacher Aide-AAS
• Video Editing Certificate
• Visual Art Entrepreneurial – A.A.S
• Web Design-Associate in Applied Science
• Web Game Development Entrepreneur-AAS
• Website Development Entrepreneur – AAS
• Welding Technology-Associate in Applied Science
• Welding Technology-Certificate
• Wind and Solar Certificate