How does the government shutdown affect college students?

3 years ago Triangle 0

Written by: Devin Burrow, Politics and Culture Editor

As of January 12, the government shutdown of 2019 has become the longest in U.S. history, leaving the public, college students in particular, wondering how this could affect their daily lives. On this 32nd day of the shutdown (January 22), with the new year beginning, most postsecondary students are focused on                        

A cardboard sign held by a protestor.

two things: free application for student aid (FAFSA) and income tax return. David Bergeron, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as a secretary for postsecondary education, said “the longer a shutdown goes on, the more unanticipated problems can arise.”

To file a FAFSA, a student must show proof of their (or their parents) income and tax returns, which is usually submitted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). But the IRS is partially shut down.Students who are filing their FAFSA can expect some delay. Their financial aid statement hangs in the air for the 2019-2020 school year.

Federal workers protest the shutdown outside of the White House

College students are also a part of tax-paying America, so there will be real world problems for them outside of school. Part of the IRS closure means longer waiting for income tax returns.

Peter Urban, President of Enactus on Bryan College’s campus, said, “Most of the students I know, including myself, rely on their income tax returns to fund their books and other expenses.”

Not all of the government is shut down though; about three quarters of the federal government is funded through September 2019. However, there are still 800,000 federal employees who are threatened to be released until there is an agreement between the President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress to Fund the rest of the government.

Federal workers protest the shutdown on sidewalks in Washington, D.C.

Offices that are closed are: State Department, Justice Department, Treasury Department, Transportation Department and Department of Homeland Security. Some state and federal museums and parks are closed.

Devin Burrow is the Politics and Culture Editor for the Bryan Triangle. He is a Junior Communications Major with an emphasis in Digital Media. Devin serves as a Resident Assistant at Bryan College.