Support for College and University Students

Let's start where you are.

Whether you need financial assistance while in school, help with grocery bills, quality care for your child or children, or support finding health insurance, we’re here to help you stay safe and well and get where you want to be.

Get help with food

Everyone has the right to healthy, affordable food and we want to make sure you get it. We can help you apply for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and connect you to other food resources in our community, like free summer meals for kids, food pantries, and area farmers markets.

Qualifying for SNAP can be complicated, but our trained, caring staff here here to support you. To qualify for SNAP as a student, you must meet the general SNAP eligibility guidelines, and meet any of the following:

  • 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
    • Eligible for a state or federally financed work-study program (even if you currently do not have a work-study job on campus)
    • 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)
    • Students who have an expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0

*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), and child care assistance, health care coverage, and more online through Colorado PEAK. Please note that Denver Human Services does not maintain Colorado PEAK; it is operated by the State of Colorado. You will be taken outside of the Denver Human Services portal when you click the link below to apply online.

Apply for Benefits with Colorado PEAK

There's More

SNAP benefits can go a long way to keeping your nourished and healthy but sometimes they're not enough. Find a map of local food pantries, information about some of our strongest food access partners, and more ways to access fresh, nutritious food locally at our Food Assistance page.

Find more Food Assistance

Find help with money

Our trained and compassionate staff will help you see if you qualify for Colorado Works or other types of cash assistance, and connect you to community resources that can help you reach your goals.

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 online through Colorado PEAK. Please note that Denver Human Services does not maintain Colorado PEAK; it is operated by the State of Colorado. You will be taken outside of the Denver Human Services portal when you click the link below to apply online.

Apply for Benefits with Colorado PEAK

 

Apply for medical care

Health insurance plays an important role in keeping you in good health. It can also help you pay for care when you are ill and protect you from debt. Health care options available to you may include a student health plan offered by your college or university, Medicaid, or with a plan through the health insurance marketplace - Connect for Health Colorado here in Colorado.

Medicaid

Some college students will qualify for Medicaid if you:

  • Meet 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 online through Colorado PEAK. Please note that Denver Human Services does not maintain Colorado PEAK; it is operated by the State of Colorado. You will be taken outside of the Denver Human Services portal when you click the link below to apply online.

Apply for Benefits with Colorado PEAK

Private Insurance Through Caregivers or the Marketplace

If you are a dependent under 26-years-old, you may be eligible to remain on the health care plan of the person who claims you as a dependent (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. 

Are you eligible for WIC?

WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program that helps children and families live healthier, happier lives. Available to children five years of age and younger, and to pregnant or breastfeeding women, WIC offers the following benefits: 

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

See if you're eligible for WIC

Apply for WIC

Get help caring for your child/children

Getting an education and caring for a child or family at the same time can be tough. We can help make sure your child gets the support they need to be safe and well through our child support and child care assistance programs.

Denver's Child Care Assistance Program team will work with you to determine if you are eligible for discounted child care assistance rates. In general, to qualify, you must:

  • Meet income guidelines (they change every year; current limits are here)
  • 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.

To apply for child care assistance you will need to provide the following:

  • Verification of residency within Denver County (lease agreement, utility bill, pay stubs with current address).
  • Current drivers-license, ID, passport, or student ID.
  • Verification showing current enrollment in school. This can include a class schedule.
  • Verification of any source of earned or unearned income including but not limited to employment, self-employment, Social Security, child support, and unemployment.

Learn more about 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 online through Colorado PEAK. Please note that Denver Human Services does not maintain Colorado PEAK; it is operated by the State of Colorado. You will be taken outside of the Denver Human Services portal when you click the link below to apply online.

Apply for Benefits with Colorado PEAK

 

Get help finding a job

Having economic security while attending college can be difficult. We can help you access tools, training, and resources you need to find a job. While some of our employment support services are available only to those receiving assistance benefits, we’ll start where you are and help you meet your financial goals. 

Learn more about SNAP to Success and other job training supports

Please note: to work with our SNAP to Success team you must be receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits). 

Other ways we can help

In addition to ongoing food, cash, and medical insurance benefits, we can also connect you to discounted RTD tickets, help paying energy bills, and support if you’re facing eviction or have other urgent housing needs. 

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

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