Support for College and University Students

stack of books, graduation cap and diploma

Overview

Are you a college student? We're here to support you. Denver Human Services (DHS) can connect you to several programs. This page has links to help you find:

  • Financial assistance while in school
  • Help with grocery bills
  • Child Care Assistance
  • Health insurance
  • Medical Assistance
  • Other kinds of support

Click on the sections at the links above, or scroll through the sections to learn more.

Get Food Assistance

Denver Human Services can help you apply for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

We can also connect you to other food resources in Denver, like free meals for kids, no-cost grocery programs, food pantries, and more. Visit our Food Assistance page for more:

Food Assistance (SNAP) and Other Food Resources

Qualifying for SNAP as a Student

Most students in college or university are not aware they could qualify for SNAP. In fact, there are even more flexibilities in SNAP eligibility for students. Most students with low incomes who meet any of the following might be eligible for SNAP:

  • Enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education
  • Age 18 through 49
  • Meets one of these student exemptions:*
    • Employed an average of 20 hours per week/80 hours per month
    • A single parent enrolled full time with responsibility for the care of a dependent child under age 12
    • Participating in a state or federally financed work-study program
    • Receiving Colorado Works (TANF cash grant) 
    • Responsible for more than half of the physical care of a dependent household member under the age of 6
    • Participation in Colorado’s Employment First Program
    • Responsible for more than half of the physical care of a dependent household member who is at age of 6 but is under the age of 12 where adequate child care is not available
    • Participating in an on-the-job training program while going to the institution of higher education
    • Be physically or mentally unfit (similar to general work requirements)

* A student enrolled less than half time in an institution of higher education, does not need to meet the additional student exemptions.

The information above is provided by the Colorado Department of Human Services and is subject to change.

You can apply for SNAP, as well as cash assistance (Colorado Works/TANF), child care assistance, health care coverage, and more through Colorado PEAK at the link below: 

Apply for Benefits with Colorado PEAK

Get Cash Assistance

DHS staff can support you in finding out if you qualify for Colorado Works or other types of cash assistance. They can also connect you to other community resources. Questions? Give us a call! Se habla español:

Call Denver Human Services: (720) 944-4DHS (4347)

You can apply for Colorado Works (also known as TANF or cash assistance), as well as SNAP (food assistance), and child care assistance, health care coverage, and more through Colorado PEAK:

Apply for Benefits with Colorado PEAK

Get Health Care and Medical Assistance

You may qualify for a student health plan offered by your college or university. You may also qualify for Medicaid / Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program), or find a plan through the health insurance marketplace - Connect for Health Colorado. We have listed a few other options to explore in the boxes below:

Medicaid / Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program)

You may qualify for Health First Colorado Medicaid if you:

  • Meet certain income qualifications
  • Are pregnant
  • Are responsible for a child 18 years of age or younger, or
  • Are blind or have a disability
  • Or are 65 or older

If you don't meet those guidelines, healthcare coverage may be still be available to you.

You can apply for Medicare, as well as cash assistance (Colorado Works/TANF), food assistance (SNAP), child care assistance, and more through Colorado PEAK:

Apply for Benefits with Colorado PEAK

Insurance Through Parents, Caregivers or the Marketplace

Are you a dependent? If someone can claim you as a dependent (usually a parent or caregiver) and you are under 26-years-old, you may be eligible to be on their health care plan. If you don't live in the same state as that person and you want to remain on their plan, check the plan details to ensure you'll be covered here in Denver.

If you don't live in the same state as the person who claims you as a dependent, you can apply for your own plan through Connect for Health Colorado.

WIC Colorado

WIC is The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. WIC does not ask or keep information about visa status or citizenship. All responses are kept confidential.

WIC is available to children five years of age and younger, and to pregnant or breastfeeding women. It offers: 

  • Free, healthy food
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Nutrition education
  • And referrals to other types of care, including housing, health insurance, medical and dental care, and more.

See if you're eligible for WIC

Apply for WIC

 

Get Child Care Assistance

Getting an education and caring for a child or family at the same time can be tough. The Denver Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) team can support you and help determine if you are eligible for discounted child care assistance rates.

Do I Qualify for Child Care Assistance?

In general, to qualify, you must:

  • Meet income guidelines. These change every year. To review these:
  • Be a Denver county resident
  • Enrolled in courses for your first Bachelor's degree*
  • If another parent lives with you and your child/children, that person must be employed/self-employed, searching for a job, attending school, or participating in a training program

*If you are receiving a second or additional degree, you may qualify for child care assistance if you are also employed/self-employed, searching for a job, or participating in a training program.

 

Have more questions? Connect with the Denver CCAP team today. Learn more at the link below:

    Denver's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

    You can apply for child care assistance (CCAP), as well as cash assistance (Colorado Works/TANF), food assistance (SNAP), medical care (including Medicare), and more through Colorado PEAK:

    Apply for Benefits with Colorado PEAK

    Get Help Finding a Job

    College is expensive. We are here to support you and connect to tools, training, and resources you need to find a job.

    Learn more about SNAP to Success and other job training supports

    Please note: to work with our SNAP to Success team, you must qualify for and receive food assistance (SNAP benefits).

    Get Discounted RTD Transit Tickets

    RTD's LiVE program helps you get to all the places you need to go with a 40% discount on fares throughout the RTD service area for qualified riders.

    Apply for RTD's LiVE program at Colorado PEAK

    Get Help with Xcel Energy Costs

    Learn more about Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), as well as our summer energy assistance program:

    Energy Assistance Programs (LEAP, Summer Energy)

    Get Rental, Housing and Emergency Assistance

    If you need help with rent this month, or with your down payment or mortgage, reach out to our Emergency Assistance team.