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How long the federal government shutdown will last remains unclear; some now believe the impasse in Washington will run up to the October 17 debt ceiling deadline. Most federal agencies developed contingency plans for a short, temporary government shutdown. Should the budget impasse be prolonged, NACUBO anticipates that some services currently still available may be suspended.
Here some resources to help navigate the federal government during the shutdown.

  • Government-wide. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has provided links to official shutdown contingency plans for government agencies here: Office of Management and Budget Contingency Plan.
  • Department of Education. Beginning October 1, the Department of Education (ED) furloughed 90 percent of its 4,225 staff. In its contingency plan for a government shutdown, the Department clearly states, "Pell Grants and student loans could continue as normal." However, many services to other programs are curtailed. Information for financial aid professionals is available here, and ED will continue to provide updated information on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site. Although the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website continues to operate, the Institute of Education Sciences website is unavailable, and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is inaccessible.
  • Research Grants. The process for obtaining new federal grant awards is on hold. Federal agencies are handling disbursements differently: While NSF is not issuing payments, HHS is maintaining its Payment Management System. Refer to the respective federal agency contingency plans for more information.
  • Department of Defense Tuition Assistance. Tuition Assistance will not be authorized or granted for new classes.
  • Veterans Affairs. In an official notice, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced, "Claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education and vocation rehabilitation programs are anticipated to continue through late October. However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs would be suspended when available funding is exhausted."
  • E-Verify. CUPA-HR has established a list helpful links, including a resource on the shutdown's impact on the e-Verify program.
  • Internal Revenue Service. As of Friday, October 4, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office at 2970 Market Street in Philadelphia was staffed and accepting deliveries from USPS, FedEx, and UPS. However, IRS will not be doing anything with responses to penalty notices until the government reopens. NACUBO encourages affected campuses to continue to send waiver and extension requests to the IRS with delivery confirmation.


Liz Clark

Vice President, Policy and Research


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