Connecting Students to Benefits: A Toolkit for Colleges

Millions of college students are eligible for public assistance that can help them pay for food, healthcare, internet service, and childcare. Yet many students have difficulty accessing these programs or do not even know they are eligible for them. For example, nearly 2 million students who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) do not participate, leaving an estimated $3 billion in benefits unused. 

To help improve student access, Benefits Data Trust (BDT) designed a new toolkit that helps colleges and universities connect eligible students to benefits by leveraging information they already have.  

We reviewed this new resource in a webinar that also featured a conversation with higher education leaders who have experience using data to identify and inform students on campus who are likely eligible for benefit programs.  

The panelists included:  

  • Angela Johnson, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Cuyahoga Community College  
  • Dr. Mary Utter, Dean of Students, Community College of Allegheny County  
  • Dr. Rashida Crutchfield, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and Executive Director of the Center for Equitable Higher Education  

Explore BDT's toolkit for colleges here and reach out to us at with questions.