University of California: Potential Govt Shutdown Could Affect Research & Student Aid Programs

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Sep 28, 2023

University of California LA

The University of California (UC) leaders have invested weeks preparing for a possible scenario: Congress failing to pass a funding bill by October 1, which could cause a federal government shutdown, the school said in a press release.

According to the statement, the university will be slightly affected if the shutdown is not long-term. However, an extended shutdown could lead to disruptions to significant research projects funded by the federal government and could also potentially affect student financial aid programs, Erudera.com reports.

“If there is a shutdown, my primary concern is how long it will last, and what the agreement will look like to re-open it. The University of California has called upon Congress to fund the government while making strong and robust investments in the University’s federal priorities,” Chris Harrington, UC’s associate vice president for Federal Government Relations, said.

In its statement, the university said that there might be budget cuts to the Federal Work-Study program, affecting over 650,000 students across the nation, including more than 9,600 studying at the University of California.

“Programs like Federal Work-Study are a critical tool in helping students find part-time job opportunities on campus and an instrumental component of the University of California’s debt-free plan,” UC said.

Harrington warned that the proposed education budget plan could lead to substantial cuts to programs that make college and graduate school more accessible and affordable.

As a result, Alumni Associations of the University of California, along with leaders from UC and the latter's counterparts from the California State University and California Community College systems, called on California’s congressional representatives to allocate funds to programs that could help provide more accessibility and affordability in higher education.

In cooperation with the UC Student Association, members of the UC Advocacy Network have emailed Congress members, urging them to reject the proposed budget cuts.

The University of California was founded in 1869, with only 40 students back then. Today, the 154-year-old institution has over 280,000 students and 227,000 faculty and staff.

According to the new 2023/24 Best Colleges rankings released by US News & World Report, UC Berkeley and UCLA share the same spot as the best public universities across the nation.

For the fourth year in a row, all nine undergraduate campuses of UC were ranked among the country’s top 100 public and private universities. This year, UC Merced climbed 11 places, reaching 28th among public universities and 60th among all universities.

Credit: Jimmy Woo/Unsplash

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