WEST WINDSOR – With spring semester beginning this month, college students are now feeling the crunch of the federal government shutdown as the result of delays in the awarding and verification of financial aid eligibility. To make things easier, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is taking steps to streamline the process and make sure students get back to class.
“Through no fault of their own, students found themselves in a situation where they were unable to pay their tuition bill and were faced with postponing their education for half a year, maybe more, due to delays in federal financial aid verification,” said Dr. Jianping Wang, MCCC president. “Through a simple accommodation, we are able to keep these students on track, in class, and one step closer to graduation.”
Normally, students are required to supply Internal Revenue Service (IRS) verified documentation to determine financial aid eligibility, but due to the shutdown, verification has not been possible. To expedite the process, MCCC will accept a copy of the student’s federal 1040 form and W-2. For those in a non-filing status requiring IRS verification, the college will accept a written statement from the student attesting that they attempted to receive the document from the IRS, but could not.
“We are doing what we can to assure students that they will not be penalized for circumstances beyond their control,” Wang said.
This accommodation has also been extended to veterans, service members, and federal employees, who have been hit particularly hard by the federal government shutdown.
While the initial Spring 2019 terms began Jan. 23, students can still enroll for later-starting, 10-week classes, which begin Feb. 26. More information is available at www.mccc.edu/enroll.