Publication Date

Spring 4-26-2018

Document Type

Capstone project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Leadership Studies


Leadership Studies


The student bodies of universities are made up of a diverse financial class of students which utilize various methods to cover financial obligations on campus, even with the use of welfare governmental assistance. Low-income students that are involved in government welfare programs are given an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to support them while they are pursuing an education; however, every university in San Diego, CA (and nearly the entire United States), segregate EBT into an unacceptable category and refuse to accept the card at any venues on campus. The EBT card is a plastic card that can be used in a similar manner as a debit card for students to access their awarded financial benefits. By accepting EBT cards on campus, low-income students will save money, more efficient use of time, and acquire healthy snacks. When I presented this issue to the California State Capitol, in the form of a legislative bill, I was met with hesitation. The bill that would create equality and demonstrate acceptance AB 832 (2013), was put on hold, due to “not enough statistical reassurance.” This has invoked me to apply for IRB approval to conduct survey research to low-income students; in hopes of eventually being granted permission to conduct the pilot study; that will satisfy the government’s willingness to mandate EBT usage be available at universities statewide; and then hopefully nationwide. I have firsthand knowledge how different the social class at universities and those on welfare are. I am aware of laws, stereotypes, and prejudices that are placed on those in poverty and the obstacles that must be defeated to elevate to a higher class, especially in academia. All throughout communities, EBT is being accepted at grocery stores, convenient stores like 7-11, and even fast food restaurants; however, the establishment I needed to use it at the most would turn me away. I recognized I was not alone and there was an underlying oppression on a student population present that could be easily corrected by accepting the EBT card like the other debit cards. The barriers the low-income student encounters are elaborated on and potential benefits to full acceptance are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.