SLU Assists Any Student Impacted by Federal Shutdown
Saint Louis University is assisting students who were financially impacted by the longest federal government shutdown, including not charging interest on late payments.
Though a deal has been reached to open the federal government for three weeks, the resulting financial issues facing students may not be immediately resolved. SLU is taking steps to help.
Cari Wickliffe, assistant vice president and director of student financial services at SLU, says the University is deploying its disaster emergency plan to help students who are facing financial hardship because of the shutdown.
“This is part of our mission,” Wickliffe said. “We want our students to be focused on their education and are trying to alleviate their financial burdens as much as possible.”
She said her office has received a few inquiries from students, and expects to hear from more in the wake of the shutdown.
“The impact is likely to have a ripple effect, as people deal with a temporary loss of income, having drawn money budgeted for other purposes to keep things going. In addition, some of our students didn’t get hours at their jobs at downtown coffee shops because the Arch was closed or federal workers didn’t come in. We know some SLU families are facing hardship.”
- Assisting students with special payment arrangements, such as extending the length of time to pay for fees
- Extending students emergency or short-term loans to pay for supplies and essentials, such as gas
- Working through delays in obtaining IRS-verified documents that are needed for student loans
- Allowing students to charge books and supplies at Barnes and Noble
- Monitoring if students need clothing or food and collaborating with Billiken Bounty, the University’s food bank for students
- Referring students to Campus Ministry for counseling and other emergency financial assistance
Wickliffe says SLU follows a similar strategy in helping veteran students who sometimes face similar delays in getting funds from the federal government and assisting students whose families have been impacted by a death, divorce or job layoff.
“While the government is open again, I expect we’ll be hearing from students whose families were directly affected by the shutdown,” Wickliffe said.
“Even once federal workers begin to receive their salaries, we don’t expect the problem to go away immediately. Their families will have to play catch up as those who are fortunate enough to have reserves will have dipped into them, which causes problems for many. We’ll be here to assist those who need our help.”