Watching for a potential government shutdown

Photo: AACC/Matthew Dembicki

Like many of you, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) awaits word of a vote on a temporary appropriations bill — also known as a continuing resolution (CR) — to keep the federal government open.

AACC had hoped that the legislation would address the pressing situation facing DACA individuals, but this does not appear to be likely.

Without a CR, a furlough will be implemented for all non-essential federal personnel. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has indicated that the Education Department would see a 90-percent workforce reduction. Many other federal agencies that work with community colleges also would be inaccessible.

Past practice indicates that financial aid will continue, including FAFSA processing. Previous shutdowns have also resulted in minimal disruption to the administration of student loan repayments, direct loans, Pell Grants and other financial aid. However, other federal funding may be disrupted during the shutdown.

AACC will continue to closely monitor the situation and communicate any impact to its members colleges.   

Despite our hopeful outlook, a shutdown will likely have a negative effect on grant and research funding, data and electronic resources, and reporting. Electronic resources will not be updated, including research and academic websites. Passports (especially those that require a “rush” service) won’t processed and national parks will close.

As AACC advocates for its members on key programs such as federal student aid, workforce education and other programs, we would like to hear from you. What impacts will you feel on campus if the federal government shuts down? Email us at