Student loans sluggish through shutdown - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Student loans sluggish through shutdown

M'Leka Davis (Source: CBS 5 News) M'Leka Davis (Source: CBS 5 News)

The government shutdown has kept some federal employees at home while others go to work without pay until Congress comes to a resolution but the shutdown is affecting more than just federal workers.

"It's not fair to just regular working people who are trying to do what's best for themselves and their families," M'Leka Davis said.

Davis, a working Phoenix mother of six, has four more classes to complete to obtain a bachelor's degree from Park University at Luke Air Force Base. Her final semester begins on Oct. 21 but there's no guarantee it will be paid for in time.

"The funding is there, it's just unable to be processed," Davis said.

The Department of Education supplies much of the funds available for federal student loans but since the shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1, 95 percent of the department was furloughed.

For Davis, that means her student loans have been approved but there are few people who can cut the check.

"You feel betrayed because it's like, you're going to get [the loan] but you're not," Davis said. "You can have it but you can't have it."

Like many other students, Davis does have the option of applying for private student loans, but those also take time to process and often carry higher interest rates.

While Davis' loans could still be completed before her Oct. 21 deadline, some of her classmates are relying on funding that will certainly be unavailable until the government shutdown ends.

Active military and veterans who rely on the Department of Defense for tuition assistance will not receive that funding if the application was sent after Oct. 1.

"Airmen with approved TA for FY14 may incur debt with their school should they attend classes," said Kimberly Yates with the Air Force development office. "Students should take action to withdraw from their current class or pursue using another funding source, such as the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post 9/11 GI Bill."

For some students, the delayed funding may mean they'll have to sit out a semester. Davis says without federal tuition assistance, she may not graduate this year.

"I'm sure I'm not the only frustrated one," she said. "No matter what side of the aisle you're on, it's affecting everyone."

For more on this story and other stories around Arizona from this author, follow Shawn Kline on Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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