On Dec. 22nd of last year, the longest government shutdown in United States history began, and finally ended on the 25th of Jan. Not only did this result in 380,000 furloughed government workers, but also some students financial aid. Ashley Jost, financial aid coordinator, spoke on the challenges the office had to face.
“Honestly, there really hasn’t been too much of an impact,” Jost said. “It’s been more questions and concerns from students. Students are still able to apply for aid and receive any aid they’re eligible for because it was already approved by the government. I think probably the biggest challenge we see is just having to be more reactive. So, when they announce that this is happening, we have to figure out what type of communication we need to change to the students; any processing that we have to do on the back end really has to change. I mean, right now the students really aren’t seeing too much of an impact at all – it’s really all the back-end processes that we’re having to update. One of the back-end processes that we’ve seen has been with the selective service match. There have been some delays in that process. And then we’ve had to change what tax documents that we require from the students.
Jost had some advice for the students affected by the shutdown.
“Just come see us,” Jost said. “I mean, truly, we have a great team here. Very knowledgeable people. If students are in a situation or if they’re having troubles collecting the documents they need, just come see us and we’ll help them through the process. And read your student email account. We send a lot of emails there and some very important information.”
For the Campus Ledger, I’m Jack McConathy.