More Than One in Seven Social Safety Net Recipients in 2017 Were College Graduates


America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers

More Than One in Seven Social Safety Net Recipients in 2017 Were College Graduates

Adults without any post-secondary education made up the majority of participants in four key social safety net programs but college-educated adults account for over a third of some programs’ recipients.

These findings come from tables recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, which provide detailed information on program participation and income transfers in 2017 from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

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Education profiles of four key government assistance programs — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — reveal the broad socioeconomic range of adults who rely on government assistance.

Continue reading to learn more about:

  • Education and program receipt
  • Social safety net participation among college educated
  • Who are the college-educated SNAP recipients?

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