There has been a great deal of debate about the repercussions of the government shutdown that has left thousands of government employees temporarily out of work. There is also concerns about those who depend on government subsidized programs such as Head Start and WIC. Unfortunately, the government shutdown has had a much broader impact than many observers had originally projected.
According to a recent report by Slate.com, the shutdown has had and will continue to have an impact on higher education – directly and indirectly. The consensus among experts is that the immediate impact of the shutdown on higher learning institutions will be minimal, although the long term impact will definitely be felt if the situation carries on for any significant amount of time.
Low Income Students Hit Hard
The impact on colleges and universities will be more focused on certain students than the institutions themselves. Some of the programs that will be directly impacted are programs that impact low-income single family households, such as WIC, Head Start and other household financial subsidies. In many cases, the recipients and beneficiaries of these type of programs are parenting, working and attending college. These parents rely heavily on some of these programs that were hit hardest by the shutdown.
Research reveals that more than 50 percent of the students who are self-supported or living on their own are living at a level that falls below the poverty line. The hardships associated with the shutdown is forcing many students to make some difficult decisions that could have some major repercussions as far as higher education is concern. For example, Victoria Thomas, mother and student at Florida A&M University, recently told the Tallahassee Democrat that she may be forced to go deeper into debt by taking out more student loans.
Other students are making even tougher decisions to either cut hours or take a semester off entirely
While politicians continue to play games in Washington, students are being choked out of their aspirations for a better future. In a situation like this, are there any opportunities for those students that are being pinched by the shutdown? There are several online career schools where students can choose to earn their diplomas or degrees on line or attend an on ground location. The programs are offered with great flexibility.
Vista also offers certain services that can help some students that are being adversely impacted by the shutdown sustain their studies without taking on more substantial debt. Vista has a scholarship program for those who qualify and there are other tuition assistance programs that can help students absorb some of the financial burden that has been placed on them by the government shutting down.
The people at Vista College understand that many of their students have aspirations beyond some of their degreed programs and will look to move on to the major university level. Vista develops its program curriculum to meet accreditation criteria that allows for the majority of their class credits to be transferred when moving on to another school. This is great for students who may be forced to take time off from a major university due to the current government shutdown and other political policies.
The school will also work with the students to make sure that they are able to reintegrate back into their major university work flow.
There is no doubt that the irresponsibility that is being displayed in Washington is having a major negative impact on those students that are being responsible and dedicated to what is in front of them. The people at Vista College may not be able to change what is happening in Washington, but they just may be able to help some of the students that have been impacted by the madness.