28. How student aid is counted
Pell Grants (BEOG), federal and state college work study, and any other student financial aid from programs funded under Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs student assistance programs, or Title XIII of the Indian Higher Education Programs, are exempt income for food stamps, and will not reduce the food stamp allotment. [7 CFR §§ 273.9(c)(3) and (10); MPP §§ 63-502.2(q)(1)(A), 63-507(a)(6); ACL 06-31 at 2; ACIN I-69-06.] Note that work study of any kind is exempt as income under MPP §63-502.2 (q)(1)(a); this cross refers to CalWORKs income exemptions. CalWORKs exempts all work study as income, either under MPP § 44-111.24 or 44-111.432(b)(7).
These excluded financial aids include Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), National Direct Student Loans (NDSL), Guaranteed Student Loans (GSL), the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program, Special Programs for Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds (the source of TRIO loans), Special Programs for Students Whose Families are Engaged in Migrant and Seasonal Farm Work, Grants to States for State Student Incentives and the Income Contingent on Direct Loan Demonstration Project. NDSL’s are also known as Perkins Loans. The GSL Program is the source of PLUS loans and Supplemental Loans for Students. [7 C.F.R. § 273.9(c)(3) and (10); MPP §63-507(a)(6).]
“Other educational assistance,” such as deferred payment loans, private grants, or private scholarships, is excluded only to the extent that it is earmarked by the lender, used for, or intended to be used for, “allowable educational expenses.” [7 CFR § 273.9(c)(3); MPP § 63-502.2(e).] Under this category of “other educational assistance,” “allowable educational expenses” include: tuition and mandatory fees (including the purchase or rental of any equipment, materials, and supplies related to course of study), books, supplies, transportation, dependent care, and “miscellaneous personal expenses.” [7 CFR § 273.9(c)(3)(ii)(B);(9) MPP § 63-502.2(e)(2).] The definition of educational expenses, however, does not include everyday living expenses, such as rent or mortgage, personal clothing, or food eaten at home. [7 CFR § 273.9(c)(3)(ii)(B); MPP § 63-502.2(e)(2).]
Students must verify and document their allowable educational expenses. [MPP § 63-502.2(e)(4).] They should make sure that their food stamps are not being incorrectly reduced because the county has not taken into account that the financial aid was used for or intended to be used for educational expenses.