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Shut down affecting local students

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MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) - When someone says they'll help you pay for your schooling, you expect them to show you the money.

But that cash, in the form of financial aid for Delta Community College students, has yet to be seen.

The federal government shutdown is over, but it's still affecting students at Delta.

Students relying on federal aid have not received their refunds.

For Jermaine Pittman it has meant missing work and spending more time at school.

"It has really affected me a lot because I can't do my classwork at home. I need to buy a computer so I can do my classwork at home," Pittman said.  

Nursing student Teresa Ellis said she needs the money, just to get to school.

"I look forward to that refund because I can do things with it that I need to do," Ellis said. "I can buy my gas to get back and forth to school. I can buy my gas to get back and forth to work. I can buy meals." 

With some students struggling from the financial aid fallout, Delta Community College Chancellor Dr. Barbara Hanson says the college is doing everything it can to help.

"Basically we have been fronting the money for their tuition and fees and provided them an opportunity to get books and supplies," Hanson said.

Hanson says students have known there would be delays in getting their aid for a while, but the government shutdown has made those delays even longer. 

Both Pittman and Ellis say the relief of the refund will not come soon enough.

"We really need that refund, because we do things with that," Ellis said.

Hanson says she calls the Department of Education regularly, for updates. However, she still doesn't know when students will get their refund. She's hopeful they'll come before the end of the semester.

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