The government shutdown that began last week is already taking a toll on higher education, despite assurances from policy makers that colleges and students would be largely spared in the short term. Research projects have been interrupted, academic meetings have been postponed or canceled, and some students are being urged to put off their educations until the federal-budget impasse ends.
Such disruptions will only multiply as the shutdown drags on. Grant competitions could be delayed, payments to programs serving disadvantaged students may lapse, and funds for veterans’ tuition and housing will be exhausted.
But the most severe consequences for higher education will come if Congress fails to increase the nation’s borrowing limit, and the government defaults on its debt. The deadline for raising the debt ceiling is Thursday, October 17. <Read more.>