Touchdown Shutdown: Federal Furlough Threatens College Football, Financial Aid
Day two of the shutdown, haven’t slept in weeks…
Nah, just kidding. Unless you work a government job or have a loved one that does, you’re probably not feeling the pain of the furlough just yet. But come Saturday, the shutdown will rear its ugly head in the most holiest of holies: the college football field. Saturdays in the fall are a magical time; early morning purging and energy drink chugging, mid-afternoon grilling and queasiness, and late night strolls back to what you think is your dorm. Unfortunately, the white wigs want to take that majestic ritual away from certain young scholars.
Due to the budget impasse in Congress, this Saturday’s Air Force at Navy and Army at Boston College football games are being cancelled.
The reason behind the decision is fairly simple. The Air Force and Military Academies are branches of the government and use government appropriated monies to fund their athletic departments. The Naval Academy’s football games are not in jeopardy because the team is funded by non-appropriated funds, i.e. ticket sales and merchandise.
So a couple of unranked and unheralded college teams aren’t gonna take to the gridiron for the foreseeable future, big whoop, right? The government shutdown “can’t hold you,” and “we can’t stop,” or whatever you kids say. Well, until Macklemore and Miley Cyrus volunteer to help the Department of Education field calls regarding your student-loan questions, you’re gonna have a hard time dealing with next semester’s tuition.
No, your Pell Grants and federal student loans aren’t being taken away, so don’t freak out, you can still take pottery with that weird-cute-patchoili scented quirky girl next term. But as if the logistics of student loans weren’t puzzling enough as it is, the fact that 95 percent of the Department of Education will be home watching soaps Monday-Friday will make it nearly impossible to get the scoop on your financial aid.
Last week, the U.S.D.E. employed 4,195 people. This week, only 212. However, they launched a sweet new site redesign yesterday:
So it’s going to be like pulling teeth to get someone on the phone to answer your student loan questions, but at least you’re not getting kicked out of school. And try not to be depressed this weekend when the Air Force/Navy game you were so looking forward to isn’t streaming across your folks’ old flat screen. Just be glad you don’t know what the hell ‘furlough‘ means.
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