The partial government shutdown may have an impact on student loans, particularly students applying for FAFSA.
Through the application process, certain verifications are needed, such as citizenship status and certain transcripts from the IRS. Another confirmation that may delay some applications, especially male students, is if they’ve signed up for the draft.
“For male students to confirm that they have registered with selective service, and that selective service piece right now has been affected by the partial government shutdown,” said Renee Swift, Associate Director of Financial Aid at Nazareth College. “So first time FAFSA filers, who are male, who are under the age of 26, would be required to register with selective service. That match is not operating currently.”
According to Swift, if students need to provide certain transcripts from the IRS in order to confirm the information on the FAFSA is accurate, she suggests to use the IRS data retrieval tool.
“Using the IRS data retrieval tool is functional so that helps the process of verification and reduce some of the paperwork that would be needed,” said Swift. “But say for example, a family was not able to use the IRS data retrieval tool and had to request a tax return transcript from the IRS, that is delayed at this point.”
Swift still emphasizes students should continue applying for financial aid before the March deadline. Students can also apply for New York’s Tuition Assistance Program, which is not affected by the shutdown.
It is recommended that students contact the financial aid offices of the colleges they’re attending or you want to attend for specific guidance.
If students or parents still have any questions, there’ll be help available at the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center on February 12TH from 5 p.m – 8 p.m.