Kayla Neff, a 19-year-old Spanish and computer science student at Central Michigan University who qualified for food stamps in September, said it's tough to find a job in Michigan, particularly for students with little experience.
Neff said she and her father share about $150 a month in grocery money from the program, which "made all the difference in the world," but her eligibility is now under review.
"Students should be focusing on their education, not whether or not they'll be able to eat dinner or whether they can manage to find a job and balance it on top of their studies," Neff said in a Friday email interview from Mount Pleasant.
Many see using food stamps while attending school as a scam, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick described it in much that way in his new autobiography.
Kilpatrick, who was recently released from state prison after serving time for violating probation and awaits trial on federal corruption charges, revealed he used food stamps when he attended Florida A&M University in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At the time, his mother was a state representative and his father was a top Wayne County official
Under the federally funded program, college students generally aren't eligible, Rooney said. But Michigan had created an exception for those participating in a valid employment and training program. Employment training was defined as attending college, he said.
Not all college students have been kicked off food stamps. For instance, single moms who go to school can still be eligible, as can certain students who work at least 20 hours a week.