Financial aid problems for students would grow if a shutdown drags on

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system should be able to operate in case of a shutdown.  That is if a court approves Gov. Dayton’s decision to give MnSCU access to its reserve funds and tuition revenue tucked away in state bank accounts.

And the University of Minnesota plans to keep its doors open in the event of a government shutdown.  U of M officials say they have the reserves to keep operating normally, for a few months at least.

But a state shutdown could be a hassle for students who receive financial aid through the state. That’s because it would put the Minnesota Office of Higher Education off the job.

During a shutdown students won’t get State Grant checks, work study money, child care grants or funds through the Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program.   Folks at OHE tell me it’s not a serious issue if a shutdown were to go on for just a few weeks.  But if it stretches into August or September, the going will get tough for students relying on state-based aid to pay for college.

I’ll have more details tomorrow after a promised A.M. interview with Sheila Wright, the director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.