Government Affairs

UPCEA Supports Closing the College Hunger Gap Act in Letter to Congress

July 23, 2019

UPCEA, along with Higher Learning Advocates, and 17 other organizations, signed a letter supporting the ​Closing the College Hunger Gap Act of 2019​. This legislation would provide college students who may be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with eligibility and application information and would require the Department of Education to collect data on food and housing insecurity.

Food insecurity is a growing and serious problem for today’s students. Estimates show that about one-third of college students experience some form of food insecurity. Further, while 18 percent of college students qualify for SNAP benefits, only three percent of students actually receive such benefits. With the pressing cost of tuition, work, and family responsibilities that today’s increasingly diverse college students experience, the inability to maintain access to nutritious meals are avoidable obstacles that should not get in the way of students’ postsecondary success.The ​Closing the College Hunger Gap Act of 2019​ would address this critical problem by requiring the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to add measures of homelessness and food insecurity to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), which is conducted every four years describing how students and their families finance postsecondary education. It would also notify students with a zero expected family contribution on FAFSA of their potential eligibility for SNAP benefits. Under this legislation, ED would consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other government experts to design the written and electronic information onthe SNAP notification process and assistance under the program.

The Closing the College Hunger Gap Act would significantly empower low-income college students’ with the information they need to reduce food insecurity on college campuses.

Read our letter to Congress here.

UPCEA is a proud founding member of advocacy groups such as the Today's Students Coalition as well as the National Adult Learner Coalition.

UPCEA Policy Committee

Mary Niemec, University of Nebraska, Co-Chair
Dick Senese, Capella University, Co-Chair

Kristen Brown, University of Louisville
Allison Friederichs, University of Denver
Ricky LaFosse, University of Michigan
Reed Scull, University of Wyoming


Get Involved with UPCEA

Professional development isn't just about attending sessions. Get involved with UPCEA to meet members from other institutions, share the great work your institution is doing, and hone your own skills. From submitting a session proposal for a conference or an article for a publication to serving as a volunteer on a conference planning committee, there are as many ways to engage with us!


Awards of Excellence

Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.