The budget deal senators approved Friday morning would benefit two colleges in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. But because the Senate did not approve the deal until Friday, a government shutdown started. If the House of Representatives approves the deal and President Trump signs the measure into law, the shutdown could be brief, perhaps over before the start of business today, and have minimal impact on higher education. (Here is coverage of last month’s brief government shutdown. Generally a shutdown would start to have an impact if it goes beyond a few days.)
The budget agreement would exempt Berea College, a nonprofit Christian college, from a provision taxing private college endowments in the Republican tax plan passed in December.
The deal would also grant the secretary of education added authority to waive sanctions on colleges with high student loan default rates. That provision would most likely affect Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, which for the past three years has skated close to the cutoff point for access to Title IV federal student aid.