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How a Government Shutdown Impacts Students

How a Government Shutdown Impacts Students

There are several areas in which a government shutdown can impact the daily lives of students across the country.

Elizabeth Hoyt

October 08, 2013

The recent government shutdown has affected everyone in one way or another, whether you realize it or not. But, how does it affect students specifically?

There are several areas in which a shutdown can impact the daily lives of students across the country.

Some of the important ways higher education and students have been affected include the following:

1. Student Veteran Services

The main hotline telephone number that answers any student veterans’ questions regarding benefits is disabled during a government shutdown.

The good news, however, is that the education benefits are still being processed and paid to students.

2. Government Resources

Need to utilize or access federal sources of information? It may not be up to date, depending on the resource. For example, the web sites for the U.S. Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics,, and the Education Resources Information Center haven’t been updated.

Some web sites, like the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institute and the National Archives are closed all together.

3. Research Funding

All scientific research has halted at public universities after being deemed “unessential.” University research projects conducted within federal buildings are at a standstill, since researchers are not able to access their work environment.

In addition, October 5 was the deadline for research grant applications, which means many universities had cuts to funding as a result.

4. Sexual Assault Investigations

Current investigations of universities not properly handling sexual violence cases on campus, performed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights have been suspended.

Also, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights processing of Clery Act complaints has been paused. Such Clery Act complaints are usually filed by students and/or faculty noting that their universities are not properly reporting sexual assaults.

5. Military Academies

The five military service academies have been severely affected. Some, like U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, were completely shut down. Classes have also been cancelled at other academies and resources have been depleted.

For example, students at the Naval Academy cannot check out books from the library during a shutdown, plus the media lab and tutoring centers have been closed.

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