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Government shutdown causes roadblocks for student financial aid applications

January 16, 2019

As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history rolls on, numerous federal services have been suspended or are otherwise affected. Aiken County students seeking financial aid eligibility are among those facing unusual hurdles with those services being unavailable.

“At the federal level, student financial aid operations continue; however, some related services have been suspended at this time,” said Director of Financial Aid at USC Aiken Tony Carter in an email.

Many of these suspended services causing issues are features on the Internal Revenue Service website.

Some of those suspended features include the IRS tax transcript and retrieval services, the “Get Transcript Online” service and the “Get Transcript by Mail” service.

According to Carter, these services being down impacts students requesting IRS tax transcripts to complete the verification process for financial aid eligibility.

To create a work-around for this issue, the Department of Education is currently allowing colleges and universities to accept signed federal income tax return copies instead of tax transcripts.

“During the shutdown, we will continue to work closely with any student impacted to help find solutions that allow them to pursue their educational goals,” Carter said.

Students with questions about financial aid and related services affected by the shutdown are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid.

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