NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University will postpone collection of currently unpaid tuition and other fees from federal employees furloughed during the government shutdown, and their dependents.
“This is one way that we can minimize that stress and eliminate disruption of academic careers while the federal shutdown continues,” Rutgers University President Robert Barchi said in a statement. “This is an incredibly stressful time for students who are furloughed federal employees or for students whose parents are currently furloughed,” Barchi said.
Housing fees and other charges will also be postponed.
Qualified students will have any unpaid balances on their term bills placed held in suspension until the partial government shutdown ends.
However, students who qualify for the program must notify the university and demonstrate that they or their parents are furloughed federal employees, the university said.
Repeatedly stating that this is a temporary program, the university said the suspension of payment applies to any balances in excess of any federal student loans, grants or work-study program – all of which have not been affected by the partial government shutdown.
The appropriation for the U.S. Department of Education, which funds those programs, was approved by Congress and enacted by President Donald Trump last September, the university said.
Any payments that are postponed will become due for payment after the shutdown ends, but no late fees or interest on balances will be assessed, Rutgers said.
“The Rutgers community is compassionate and caring when adversity strikes," Barshi said. "This is another way that we can care for students who, through no fault of their own, would otherwise be facing the prospect of having their academic careers interrupted,” he said.
The university noted in the statement that Rutgers earlier this year doubled funding for the food banks on all campuses to help address the increased use of the pantries by students in the event that Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Payments (SNAP) are curtailed in March because of the shutdown.