The government shutdown has left some U.S citizens working without pay, but it has not affected federal student aid for BYU students.
During a shutdown, government agencies and operations either cease entirely or federal workers work without pay until the government reopens, among other more in-depth and technical repercussions.
The Federal Student Aid office of the Department of Education released a statement on Jan. 3 stating the government shutdown is not directly impacting Federal Student Aid, although the office does depend on some federal agencies that are currently closed. Students can monitor the Federal Student Aid website for further information and updates.
“We are evaluating what impact these closures may have on FSA, including the impact on database matches conducted by the Central Processing System (CPS), and are working to limit the impact on our partners,” the statement says.
Students on the quest for federal financial aid may have issues retrieving paperwork from closed departments and verifying application information for the upcoming 2019-2020 application.
An announcement on BYU’s My Financial Center reads, “Requests for Tax Return Transcripts (TRT) or Verification of Non-filing documents are not currently being processed by the IRS. Students assigned TRT tasks are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA to complete this requirement.”
Students who missed the Jan. 14 tuition deadline for Winter 2019 can apply for a short-term loan through BYU’s Financial Center for a $20 fee.
University Media Relations Manager Todd Hollingshead said BYU has already received and distributed the vast majority of federal grants and loans for Winter 2019. Hollingshead stressed the importance of getting ahead when it comes to scholarships and financial aid.
“It is always a good idea for students to evaluate their need for student aid as early as possible and then follow through on all required procedures,” Hollingshead said. “These processes can take weeks during the best of conditions. The uncertainties caused by the current government shutdown make those early preparations even more important.”
The FAFSA help line can be reached at 800-433-3243. FAFSA also has a help site.
Students can also stop by Enrollment Services to talk to a financial counselor about the next steps in the financial aid process. The office can be reached at 801-422-4104 or through YMessage.