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Michigan universities are waiting to see how a federal government shutdown may affect them

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The clock is ticking closer to a federal government shutdown.

Spokespeople for several Michigan universities say they're waiting to see what kind of an effect a federal government shutdown may have on their institutions.

Michigan’s universities and colleges get hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government every year.

But it’s unclear how much, if any, of that money will actually be held up if the government does shut down.  

Federal aid programs, like work study, are generally ‘forward funded’, meaning the money has already been appropriated.   And for the most part, federally backed student loans have already been paid out for the entire academic year.

Where universities could feel the pinch is research grant funding.  But even that's not clear.

In the last fiscal year, the University of Michigan received more than $800 million from the federal government for research.    A university spokeswoman says at this point it’s “very hard to predict” the impact of a government shutdown.   But she adds “the length of that shutdown would be one key factor in determining the effect on research” at U of M.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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