It is important that all students at Nebraska are ready to learn, so basic food, housing, and broadband needs are important. Growing evidence suggests that food and housing insecurity compromises the well-being of college students all across the country. Below are some resources available to students experiencing food or housing insecurity as well as information about broadband access. Emergency financial aid may be available to help students experiencing food or housing insecurity. If you are experiencing these issues, you can schedule an appointment with a Student Services Specialist in Husker Hub to discuss your situation. You can email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-472-2030.
SNAP Benefits for Students (COVID relief)
A recent change in federal law has made more students temporarily eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is a federal government program that provides nutrition benefits to qualified families. Under regular SNAP rules, students enrolled in college at least half-time are typically ineligible. However, the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act temporarily expands SNAP eligibility to include students who either:
- Are eligible for work-study during the regular academic year, or
- Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year.
This expansion is temporary (expires 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted).To learn more about SNAP benefits in Lincoln/Lancaster county, you can visit the SNAP page through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). If you are ready to apply, you can do so online through ACCESSNebraska at https://dhhs.ne.gov/pages/accessnebraska.aspx.
If you apply online, a case manager will contact you for a phone interview. You can also apply by calling the appropriate Economic Assistance office listed below:
Nebraska State Economic Assistance: 800-383-4278
Lincoln Economic Assistance: 402-323-3900
Omaha Economic Assistance: 402-595-1258
After your interview, you will be issued an EBT card. If you are approved for SNAP, that card will be loaded with funding once all documentation has been received.
Note: You may be asked to document your eligibility for Federal Work Study and/or $0 EFC status. You can document FWS eligibility by taking a screenshot of your financial aid award screen in MyRED or document your EFC by downloading your Student Aid Report (SAR). Instructions for downloading your SAR can be found at https://studentaid.gov/help-center/answers/article/how-to-get-a-copy-of-sar.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. It is important to know that though hunger and food insecurity are closely related, they are distinct concepts. Hunger refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort, while food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level.
The University of Nebraska offers a Husker Pantry location on both East and City Campus for all Huskers. Nearly 1 in 3 students on campus experience food insecurity. The Husker Pantry City Campus is located on the 1st floor of the University Health Center, room 123, and the East Campus Pantry is located in the Visitor’s Center, room 108B. The Husker Pantry will transition to an online, order-ahead platform beginning September 26, 2022. Customers can place their order online and select a pickup time and location after September 26, 2022.
Visit https://pantry.unl.edu/ to place an order, learn more about community resources, or discover volunteer and donation opportunities.
Housing Insecurity and Homelessness
Housing insecurity is the lack of security in an individual shelter that is the result of high housing costs relative to income, poor housing quality, unstable neighborhoods, overcrowding, and/or homelessness.
- Homeless Resources in Nebraska: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Nebraska-Homeless-Assistance-Program-Recipients.aspx
- People's City Mission: https://pcmlincoln.org/
- Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach: https://www.mtko.org/
Remote Learning Technology
If you do not have a personal computer to study, or a WiFi hotspot, you may request an increase in your cost of attendance (COA) for the cost of a computer or other hardware necessary to study. Increasing your COA permits the option of additional loans or other types of aid to cover such cost. A cost estimate or a copy of the purchase receipt can be submitted for review. To begin the review process to request an increase in your cost of attendance (COA), contact Husker Hub at email@example.com or by phone at 402-472-2030. Additionally, you can check out digital equipment from the University Libraries or Information Technology Services, if interested.
University of Nebraska Information Technology Services (ITS) requires Two-Factor Authentication for all students. Students need to have a Two-Factor device. Students who do not have a smart phone can request a hardware token from ITS. In addition, there is WiFi access available on campus.
Affordability Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program (formerly known as the Broadband Benefit Program) is a federal program (through the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC) to help ensure households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provides a discount toward internet service for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.
Eligibility for the Affordability Connectivity Program
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income internet program;
- Participates in one of these assistance programs:
- The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision; SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), WIC, Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits, or Lifeline;
- Participates in one of these assistance programs and lives on Qualifying Tribal lands:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, Tribal Head Start (income based)
For more information about the Affordability Connectivity Program, visit https://www.fcc.gov/acp.