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Government Shutdown: Veteran’s Education Funding At Risk, Other Federal Education Aid Secure For Now

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - At the University of Alabama in Huntsville, many students worry about prepping for Homecoming, but some have to deal with other more serious concerns.

Most receiving government aid like Pell Grants will still get those funds despite the shutdown, but UAH Financial Services Director Andy Weaver says, "It's a different story with veterans programs.  They're not forward funding, so within the next few days if a resolution hasn't been reached by the federal government, we should see a cessation in funding for veteran students."

This could make life a lot more difficult for them, and that will lead to some angry Chargers.

Weaver lists those affected as, "In general, it's the Montgomery GI Bill programs that are affected, specifically Chapter 33, which is a post-9/11 gi bill.  Those are veterans that served after 9/11.  They will be affected if funds aren't available."

But it's not that tuition money won't be available.  It's the other costs, from coffee to fuel all-nighters to money to keep the lights on at home.

Weaver explains, "It's the monthly stipend recipients that we're concerned about currently, because those funds will stop in a couple of weeks unless something happens.'

In the Student Financial Services office, they want to help, but they're not getting their usual guidance from the Veterans Affairs web page.  It's shut down.

Frankly, their options for changing life outside the office are limited.

Weaver notes, "We're currently trying to determine how we can help those students.  Other than deferring their tuition charges until funds become available, there's not really much the university can do."

It's a shame, because college students who served our country's military should get to think about things like homecoming, not whether they can afford to keep the lights on at home.

Other students receiving federal aid fare better.

Weaver adds, "One of the concerns that we've heard from parents is that their funds won't be available for student financial aid.  The reality is for the '13-'14 academic year, we're ok.  The programs are forward funding, meaning the funding is allocated prior to the beginning of the academic year."

So for all these Chargers, there's no need to worry about receiving their federal assistance, because the government has already been charged.

Most students will get their aid no problem.

For those aid recipients, no need to sweat the shutdown - at least not yet.

"We won't have a problem until June 30th, 2014, when funds are allocated for the '14-'15 academic year."