A helping hand during the shutdown

A Maryland community college is offering financial assistance to qualifying students affected by the partial federal government shutdown.

As the shutdown continues, the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) — which serves in a state that has the third most federal employees — plans to offer financial support to affected students to ensure that they can start the spring semester, which begins this month. (See related story).

“We are very concerned for our students who through no fault of their own are being adversely affected because of this government shutdown,” CSM President Maureen Murphy said in a press release.

The college has established two assistance opportunities to help these students, both credit and non-credit. The first is a tuition payment plan with no money down or enrollment fee required and tuition payments coinciding with the reinstatement of the federal government budget and when workers return to their jobs, according to CSM.

The second is emergency assistance through a one-time grant for students who have been permanently affected by layoffs or do not expect reimbursement of back pay from the government shutdown. Funding for these grants will come through the CSM Foundation.

CMS encourages potentially eligible students to contact the college before Jan. 9, when the spring payment is due, so that they are not dropped from classes.

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