Are Most College Students Eligible for Section 8 Housing?

Updated November 17, 2022 · 1 Min Read

Housing is one of the most significant expenses, often costing even more than tuition. Learn about section 8 for college students, and if you might qualify. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Many students on a limited income or budget have questions about section 8 for college students. Section 8 housing refers to affordable housing options available for those who meet certain income guidelines. You may receive a voucher that you give to your landlord that covers a large portion of your rent, which leaves you responsible for the remaining balance. Vouchers may cover the total cost of your rent and go directly to your landlord too. You can find out if you qualify for this type of housing before looking for a rental home or apartment.

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Who Does Not Qualify?

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), no one under the age of 24 can qualify for financial housing help if they are not married or do not meet other requirements. You cannot get help if you do not have a child or a dependent, if you are not married or if you are not a veteran. The reason for creating this list is that the government does not want to provide college students with the same assistance that others get. If all college students qualified for the same programs, there is a risk that students would quit their jobs or never look for a job while in school.

Who Does Qualify?

If you are 24 years old or older and have at least one dependent living with you, you may qualify for section 8 housing while enrolled in college full-time or part-time. Veterans often qualify for financial help in the form of housing vouchers and government aid. Depending on the amount of time you spent in the military, the GI Bill may cover all or a significant portion of your college expenses. College students who have certain disabilities may qualify for section 8 housing too.

Section 42 Alternative

An alternative to section 8 for college students is the section 42 program. To qualify for this program, your income must be between 30 and 60% of the average income in your county. When you apply for this program, you need to list the number of people in your household as well as any dependents in your home. The program will then compare your salary to the average salary for a household of the same size. If you qualify for this program, you will only pay 30% of your utility bills and rent with the program covering the rest.

Finding Affordable Housing

If you think that section 8 housing is the only way you can afford to live close to campus, you should check out other ways to pay your rent. You can apply for an on-campus job like a position as a resident adviser, which comes with free room and board. Apartment complexes and buildings near campus often hire managers and handymen and provide them with a place to live. You might consider living in an off-campus apartment or rental home with some roommates too. Many housing departments have a list of students who need roommates.

Section 8 housing is a government program that helps people pay for the cost of housing and reduces the amount they pay out of pocket for rental homes. Though section 8 for college students is available, this program is only open to those who are over the age of 24 and meet other requirements.

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