Government shutdown could affect college students and financial aid

FLINT (WJRT) (01/07/19) - More than 800,000 federal workers are currently working without pay as a partial federal government shutdown stretches into its second week.

Others are off the job completely. That is not welcome news for many who reply on services provided by government workers.

College students and their financial aid, much of which comes through the federal government, are one group facing major issues if the shutdown drags on a lot longer.

So far, students aren't seeing any major effects, however.

"There are some issues that they are running into with regards towhen a student fills out their FAFSA, the government does a lot of data based matches to see if their Social Security or Selective Service and there's also an IRS match," said Mott Community College Director of Financial Aid Richard Boruszewski. "We can draw on the information from the IRS to put into your FAFSA. Those services are having issues at the moment."

Students are getting ready to return for new semester next week. He said workers in the financial aid office are trying to make sure every student can start classes without the worry of how the shutdown will affect them.

"Yeah, those are what we are working on right now -- us in the financial aid community with the Department of Education -- seeing what guidance we can do to help out these students," Boruszewski said.

He said right now effects of shutdown are minimal since most of those who are taking classes in the upcoming semester already have their financial aid squared away.

But if the shutdown drags on with no end in sight, that may change as students start working on their fall schedules, Boruszewski said.