A Goverment Shutdown Will Seriously Screw Students with Loans

Low-income college students might just not be getting those checks that keep them afloat if the government shuts down.

With the midnight deadline to reach a budget deal looming, we're getting closer to the federal government shutdown. The U.S. Department of Education has announced it will have to furlough 93 percent of its staff, about 4,500 workers, but what's the actual impact on the students of America?

Unfortunately, the DOE grinding to a halt could negatively affect cash-strapped college students, particularly those receiving financial aid through work-study jobs and Perkins Loans. Over 590,000 students at 3,400 colleges and universities have work-study jobs to help pay the bills. The government funnels $951 million per year to colleges, which then use the funds to cut work study checks to students. A shutdown will probably stop those much needed paychecks. Also affected are the 673,000 students at 1,600 schools who have Perkins Loans. During the shutdown period, no new loans will be able to be disbursed to students.

The good news is that since elementary and secondary schools are run by local districts and state agencies, unless your school has a field trip to the Smithsonian planned—all federal museums and national parks will be closed if the shut down happens—K-12 education won't be significantly affected.