Student Needs

Resource Distribution – By The Numbers


Bags of Groceries


Meal Gift Cards


Bag Lunches


Hot Spots

Mother doing homework with child hug
Student Parents

West Valley College recognizes the unique needs of students who are parenting while in school and strive to make every effort to support students, parents, children, and families both in-person and remotely.

Emergency Fund Assistance
West Valley Emergency Fund Assistance

Having difficulty paying your Spring 2023 class fees? Assistance is available. Complete the Emergency HEERF Grant application to see if you qualify.

Transportation Assistance
West Valley Transportation Assistance

Free bus pass/token or parking permit.

CalFresh logo

Students can only qualify for CalFresh if they meet certain criteria. There are many definitions and exemptions that can be confusing. If you want assistance with completing the CalFresh application please, complete the form below and a Second Harvest of Silicon Valley staff will contact you directly.

The Cohn Family Food Pantry
West Valley College logo

The Cohn Family Food Pantry is a food share program that provides fresh produce, non-perishable, and refrigerated goods to feed WVC students and the local community.

WVC Closet logo

The Closet provides free professional clothing, basic undergarments, accessories, and new blankets.

Arrow sign with text get help now

Enter your zip code to find resources near you.

Free Food Distribution
Students pick up food on West Valley campus

West Valley College will be providing FREE grocery items in partnership with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. The distribution is open to all WVC students and community members. There are no pre-registration requirements. To ensure we can have a safe and efficient distribution, please arrive no more than 30 minutes early. Stay in your car and look out for volunteers directing traffic. Put your car in park while volunteers load the food in your trunk.

Dates: Every Monday

Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Location: West Valley College Parking Lot 3

Free Haircuts
West Valley Free Haircuts

The Office of Student Needs in partnership with Laruce Studios will be providing free hair cuts to currently enrolled WVC Students in need.

Faculty and Staff

The Office of Student Needs offers many FREE resources for WVC students. Let us present to your classroom, and we will share with your students all the resources they are able to access during their academic journey in our campus.

  1. Students no longer have to be approved for work study and anticipate working, they just have to be eligible for work study in order to be exempt from college student rules
  2. If the student is determined to have a zero dollar Expected Family Contribution, they are exempt from the student rules.

ACL outlining the NEW college student policy

You are considered a student if you are:

  • Between the ages of 18-49 and are physically and mentally “fit” for employment. If the person has a disability, they are not considered a student.
  • Enrolled at least half-time* in regular curriculum at an “institution of higher education”** in which the regular curriculum meets the standard requirements for graduation or certification in a particular field of study.

*Half-time is determined by the institution in which you are enrolled.

**An institution of higher education is a business, trade, technical or vocational school that usually requires a high school diploma or GED; or a junior, community, two-year or four-year college or university, or graduate school. It does not matter whether a high school diploma or GED is required.

Individuals who are attending school and do not meet all of the above CalFresh student criteria, are not considered students (for the purposes of CalFresh) and will not have to meet any student-related CalFresh requirements.

If you are considered a student, you can get CalFresh if you meet at least one of the following exemptions:

  1. Work at least 20 hours per week, on average; NOT NECESSARY during COVID
  2. Are approved for state or federal work-study money and have not refused any job assignments;
  3. Are approved and awarded TANF funded Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B;
  4. Are a full-time student who is a single parent to a child under 12;
  5. A part-time student with a child age 6-11 without adequate child care;
  6. Are receiving CalWORKs benefits;
  7. Are enrolled in CalFresh employment and training or another job training program accepted by CalFresh; (see below for a list of these programs)
  8. Do not plan to register for the next school term.

The student eligibility rules do not apply to people who are:

  • Age 17 and under or age 50 and older, OR
  • Physically and mentally “unfit” for employment, OR
  • In high school, OR
  • Enrolled less than half-time, OR
  • Enrolled in programs or classes that do not require a high school diploma or GED, OR
  • Enrolled in schools that are not considered institutions of higher education.
Students gathered in front of WVC balloons
Emergency Financial Assistance

West Valley College can provide emergency financial assistance to those who qualify. Assistance is provided to students who are facing financial hardship related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

You must meet these minimum requirements to be eligible:

  • Enrolled in Spring 2023

Amount of award will vary based on units enrolled.

If you haven't already done so, you'll need to submit your Financial Aid application before receiving emergency funds. It's free. Please complete the form and allow two business days to receive a response from the Office of Student Needs.

If you have any questions, please contact Samthana Hernandez, Director of Student Needs, at samantha.hernandezFREEWEST_VALLEY


Masked women administrators talking to students, also with masks

Provides support services for current and former youth, wards of the court, unaccompanied homeless youth, undocumented students and student facing food and housing insecurity.

The Office of Student Needs will be still be available to provide services to students during the in-class suspension. The office of Student Needs will be able to deliver services to students via phone calls and email communication. Students who are undocumented, former or foster youth, and housing and food insecure can contact Director of Student Needs, Samantha Hernandez by completing a self-referral form. Students will then be contacted by Samantha Hernandez to schedule a one-on-one phone call, and learn about Student Needs.

Office Hours

Day Hours
Monday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Closed on all campus holidays.

Follow us on Instagram: @WVCStudentNeeds

See Income Benefits for Transition Age Youth

Food Insecure Students

Visit the two Food Pantry new locations, and stop by any time during the following hours to grab food items. Students will need to bring their student ID and sign in.

  • Student Services Center (SSC), located inside Health Services
    Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Campus Center (CC) 302, located inside the Office of Student Needs
    Monday – Thursday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Friday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

The Office of Student Needs has canceled weekly grocery pick up until further notice. If you are a student in need of free groceries and hot food items, please visit Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. Students can enter their zip code to find food distribution near their area.

Valley Community Services On Campus Mobile Pantry will take place every Wednesday from 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM in parking lot 3 and will not be affected during the in-person class suspension. If you are not able to pick up groceries that day, feel free to visit their main pantry located at 10104 Vista Dr, Cupertino, CA 95014 or call 408-255-8033. Students must show their student ID in order to get free groceries at BOTH locations.

Homeless Students

Bill Wilson Center (BWC) provides services to young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 years old in Santa Clara County. BWC programs focus on housing, education, counseling, and advocacy. The case manager allocated to assist West Valley College students, will be meeting with students off campus via referral by Director of Student Needs, Samantha Hernandez. To schedule a phone meeting please complete the self-referral form to get assistance.

Phone Number: (408) 275-8770

The Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA) partners with other agencies and nonprofit organizations to make supportive services available to our residents and tenants located in Santa Clara County. Services offered by other agencies include emergency support to families, food, transportation, shelter referrals, clothing and housing assistance.

Phone number: (408) 291-8650

We design, develop and manage affordable housing for low-income households. Click on the link to find a list of information about affordable housing in the Bay Area.

Phone Number: (408) 468-0100

Learn more about available support for families and individuals facing housing instability or homelessness.

Phone Number: (408) 961-9895

The Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System has temporary financial assistance available to help low-income residents who have lost income and are unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-related impacts

Hotline Number: (408) 278-6420

A temporary housing crisis hotline to field calls from members of the public that are unhoused and vulnerable. Callers will be prompted to leave a message if all operator lines are busy. They check the messages left regularly, if client cannot reach them the first time.

If you are experiencing housing insecurity, please contact our Director of Student Needs, Samantha Hernandez by completing a self-referral form to learn about more services.

Undocumented Students

A variety of scholarships are available at the state, national and local level for students. The Office of Student needs is available to help, and to assist in any way possible. Please contact our Director of Student Needs, Samantha Hernandez, by completing a self-referral form to get assistance.

Foster Students

The Office of Student Needs provides support services and resources for former or current foster youth. Please contact our Director of Student Needs, Samantha Hernandez, by completing self-referral form to get assistance.

Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI)

Last Updated 1/24/24