Many college students in Michigan will be kicked off of the Bridge card food assistance program this April. The state Department of Human Services will follow federal guidelines about which students are eligible for food assistance.
Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan says serious abuse of the food assistance program among college students is a relatively new problem. She thinks part of it comes from moving from food stamps to the debit-card-like Bridge card.
"I think that there has been a cultural change for us in that there is less stigma associated with it," she says.
The department estimates that about 25,000 college students use the Bridge card program, and the department says that number could drop by more than half.
People who will still qualify for food assistance include students with young children.
"Sometimes when they care for young children, for example, and they're taking the right steps toward becoming self-sufficient, they would qualify," Corrigan says. "But in the main, going to college does not entitle you to have federal food assistance."