At the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1, the federal government shut down because Congress and the president failed to agree on a continuing budget resolution. A week later, the budget stalemate continues. Much of the acrimony centers on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and continued efforts by House Republicans to defund the ACA.
The U.S. Department of Education is closed, and the majority of its unessential employees are furloughed, though most students should not notice any immediate impact.
Greg Hutchinson, financial aid counselor at Stephens College, is assuring students that they should not be directly impacted.
“The majority of students don’t have anything to worry about,” he said.
Congress has already approved funding for student loans and financial aid up to this point. Loans and scholarships will continue being funded as usual.
As budget negotiations continue towards the Oct. 17 debt ceiling deadline, students may have cause for concern over student loan interest rates rising.
Students who enrolled in school after the new fiscal year may have trouble getting their financial assistance processed. Students who are currently filling out FAFSA forms to enroll in school for the spring semester may also have difficulties doing so.
Federally funded research universities face the possibility of no longer receiving money.
Military veterans receiving benefits from the new GI bills and students who are currently actively enrolled in the Army or Navy and get tuition assistance may see delays.
If you have questions about your scholarships or loans, please go to the Stephens College financial aid office.
Story by junior Emily Marchant