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Ongoing Shutdown May Have Early Financial Aid Impacts

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The partial federal government shutdown entered its 17th day today with little prospect of an imminent resolution. As a result, numerous federal websites, the release of select economic data, and various services have temporarily been suspended. One affected federal agency is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While the headlines have focused on the potential of a delay in tax refund processing and payments, students seeking financial aid for the current and upcoming academic year may also be impacted.

On January 5, CNN reported:

Several students say they haven’t been able to get the tax transcripts they need in order to process their financial aid. It’s left some of them unable to afford tuition and possibly having to delay their courses for another semester.

Even worse, the article notes an example of one student who failed to meet a college’s deadline for providing the IRS tax transcript and is required to wait until September to take that student’s desired classes. Hopefully, colleges and universities will understand the circumstances involved and will accommodate affected students.