UNC Charlotte offers a menu of support services for students struggling to secure basic needs.
Basic needs are defined as those needs that hinder students' ability to focus on and successfully complete their academic studies - food insecurity, housing insecurity, homelessness, transportation, health and wellbeing, technology or child care.
Resources for Niners
Swipe Out Hunger
Swipe Out Hunger is a nation-wide program that partners with colleges to help put an end to student hunger and assist those who struggle with food insecurity. Leadership & Community Engagement has partnered with Chartwells Dining Services, Auxiliary Services, Student Assistance and Support Services, and the Sustainability Office to bring this program to UNC Charlotte.
Eligibility for Swipe Out Hunger Program at UNC Charlotte:
The Swipe Out Hunger Program aims to provide students who are food insecure, and/or who are experiencing an emergency situation, access to healthy and well-balanced meals in our campus dining halls. To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled at UNC Charlotte.
If you meet this initial requirement and would like to complete a needs-based assessment to determine your further eligibility for the program, please schedule an appointment with Student Assistance and Support Services by calling 704-687-0289.
Jamil Niner Student Pantry
The pantry provides assistance to UNC Charlotte undergraduate and graduate students that struggle with food insecurity. In 2013, the USDA defined food insecurity as a condition that occurs when people do not have enough resources to feed themselves. The Jamil Niner Student Pantry offers a variety of nutritious meals and frequently gives demonstrations on what meals can be made with the food in our pantry.
UNC Charlotte SNAP Screening
Over the past few years, nutritionists and University leaders have realized that emerging adults (those between the ages of 18-24 years) struggle to get enough healthy food. Federal programs exist to assist with this challenge. A support program called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides approximately $70 billion per year to assist with nutrition. This program — sometimes referred to as “food stamps” or EBT — is administered by state and local governments. In North Carolina, this program is called Food and Nutrition Services (FNS).
Here at UNC Charlotte, we believe that there are a number of students that may benefit from this nutrition assistance program. To see if you may be eligible students and faculty from the Department of Public Health Sciences created the following screening tool and application instructions for interested students. The template and examples highlighted below are based on the Coordinated SNAP Outreach process originally developed by Rebecca Leighton at Boynton Health at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
If you apply and are found eligible you will get a debit card in the mail that will be loaded with money each month that you can use for food. The amount of money will depend on your income and household information — we expect the amount to be somewhere between $15 to $125 per month.
Before you jump to Step 1, please note the following:
- When answering the screener questions use your current living situation. For example, you might live with your parents in the summer and during university breaks, but if you are living in an off-campus apartment at the time you complete this screener, answer the questions based on your apartment living situation.
- Residents of North Carolina complete a county SNAP/FNS application (discussed in item #3 below) for the county in which they reside at the time of their application completion. If you are living in Charlotte during the school year, you are considered a Charlotte-Mecklenburg resident.
- If you currently live outside of North Carolina (ex. You live in SC but commute to UNC Charlotte), the UNC Charlotte SNAP Screener will indicate if you are likely or unlikely eligible for SNAP, but when you try to actually apply for SNAP benefits, you’ll need to click here for details regarding SNAP services in your state of residence.
- If you complete the SNAP/FNS application and are approved, a SNAP debit card will be sent to you in the mail. At that time, you will have a certain amount of money added to your SNAP card once a month for 6-months. You would need to re-certify after 6 months.
Complete Step 1 below to see if you are likely eligible for SNAP. Complete the Mecklenburg County Screener in Step 2 if the UNC Charlotte Screener indicates that you are likely eligible for SNAP before completing the actual SNAP application. To apply for SNAP benefits, use the link in Step 3.
Complete this brief 3-4 question UNC Charlotte SNAP Screener to help assess your eligibility.
Minute Markers for the video:
- 0:00 - 3:25 (Walkthrough of Mecklenburg County Screener)
- 3:25-15:21 (End) (Walkthrough of SNAP/FNS Application)
This screening tool was developed by the state of North Carolina and is specific to Mecklenburg County residents.
You should hear back about your results in the next 30 days.
If you receive SNAP benefits, please use this link to access retail locations where you can use your SNAP card in your area. You may also use the map feature to see these locations, including those near campus. Note: At this time there are no current food vendors on UNC Charlotte’s campus that offer SNAP benefits.
Student Temporary Emergency Housing
The Short-Term Emergency Housing Program (STEHP) is a collaboration between the Office of Student Assistance and Support Services and University Housing and Residence Life. STEHP seeks to assist students with temporary on-campus housing who have been unexpectedly displaced from their home, apartment, etc., or have experienced a crisis that has caused a significant change in a students’ housing status. The STEHP is not a substitute for long-term student housing needs.
- Must be an enrolled undergraduate or graduate UNC Charlotte student in a degree seeking program.
- Demonstrate in good faith that the student has exhausted all financial aid options.
- Student has experienced an emergency or crisis that has caused them to be displaced. This may include, but is not limited, to the following: house/apartment fire or flooding, sleeping in a car or any place that is not a residence, sleeping on a friend’s couch, having to move out of your current residence with no place to live, temporarily staying with family or friends, etc. The specific situation will be discussed with a professional staff member on a case-by-case basis.
- Student must be able to demonstrate their unexpected emergency or crisis. Supporting documentation of the emergency or crisis will be required.
- Student has the financial ability to pay the $25 per night housing charge. Students who do not have the ability to pay the $25 per night housing cost are not eligible for the STEHP.
Niner Central Financial Aid
Niner Central is a single location for you to go for services related to financial aid and billing, registration, transcripts, student accounts, academic records, and more.
Student Emergency Fund
The Student Emergency Fund assists UNC Charlotte students by providing financial support when they need assistance with unexpected and unavoidable life emergencies that cause unforeseen expenses. The Student Emergency Fund is designed to provide needed financial relief for situations such as accidents, illness, death of a family member, fire damage, need for temporary housing, natural or manmade disaster, or pandemics. While there is not an exhaustive list of expenses the funds are designed to cover, funds may be used for temporary housing, transportation, food, unforeseen medical expenses, safety needs, or essential academic expenses such as textbooks, classroom or lab equipment, or educational supplies. The Student Emergency Fund is not designed to cover tuition and fees on a student’s University account. Relief funds do not have to be repaid.
Niner Central Short Term Loans
Short term loans are available to assist students who need small amounts of funding to meet emergency expenses.
Niner Finances provides programming, resources, education, and guidance for financial success. Professionals and peers advise on topics related to student financial literacy like budget planning, debt and credit card management, saving, credit scores, and more.
Student Temporary Wage positions are open to any interested, and currently enrolled, UNC Charlotte student.
Counseling and Psychological Services
The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at UNC Charlotte supports the holistic well-being and academic success of students and contributes to a healthy and inclusive campus climate. This is accomplished by providing short-term individual and group counseling, crisis management, consultation, referral services, and educational and preventive initiatives for the campus community. In addition, CAPS supports the academic mission of the University by serving as a training site for graduate students and supports scholarly activity and professional development of staff.
Student Health Center
The UNC Charlotte Student Health Center (SHC) provides primary medical care, disease prevention, health education, wellness promotion, and various specialty services to all registered UNC Charlotte students, regardless of the type of health insurance they carry.
Center for Integrated Care
The Center for Integrated Care (CIC) serves as a one-stop shop to connect students to comprehensive campus and community health resources. CIC provides individual consultations by appointment, case management, referrals, and follow-up care.
University Recreation's mission is to engage the University community through recreational programs, activities, and facilities with a commitment to our core values.
Center For Wellness Promotion
The mission of the Center for Wellness Promotion is to educate and empower students in establishing and maintaining healthier behaviors. They do this through workshops and events, campus-wide wellness promotion initiatives, and individual consultations on issues that affect students’ health, well-being, and safety, including alcohol and other drug use and recovery, sexual health, sexual assault and relationship violence, and a variety of other wellness topics.
Collegiate and Recovery Community
The Center for Wellness Promotion also coordinates a Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), which supports students in recovery from substance use disorders, and consults with students with known or suspected substance use issues and makes referrals to appropriate on and off-campus resources and services.
Currently enrolled UNC Charlotte students may borrow PC and Mac laptops on a first come, first served basis at the following campus locations:
- The Circulation Desk located on the first floor of Atkins Library near the main entrance.
- The Self-Checkout Laptop Kiosk located on the ground floor of the College of Health and Human Services building (CHHS).
The Office of Disability Services works to ensure that students with disabilities have access to education and campus life at the University. Through collaboration with the institution’s diverse community, Disability Services facilitates accommodations, discourse, and engagement to promote a universally accessible learning environment for all.
UNC Charlotte Student Legal Services, Inc. (SLS) provides free legal advice, limited representation, and resources to enrolled students. SLS is also available for presentations to student organizations and classes to educate students on their rights and responsibilities under the law.
SLS is funded by student activity fees through the Student Activity Fee Commission. Services are provided to students at no additional charge.
United Way 211
NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina. Accessible via an easy-to-remember, three-digit number, families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within their community.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is a federal program that provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.
To get SNAP benefits, an individual must complete a 10-page application, interview and you must meet certain requirements, including resource and income limits.
Student Eligibility Guidelines
You might qualify for SNAP if you meet any of the following criteria:
- Students (18-49) attending college at least half-time may be eligible by income guidelines and one of the above additional criteria
- Students attending college less than half-time and those age 50+ do not need to meet additional student criteria (only income)
How does it work?
- An individual must apply for SNAP in the state where you currently live.
- Complete a 10-page application and meet certain requirements, including resource and income limits
- An individual must complete an interview as part of the application process
- An individual must apply for SNAP as part of a “household.” A household consists of everyone who lives together and purchases and prepares meals together.
To learn more about SNAP and eligibility requirements, please contact the Charlotte Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services at 704 336-3000