Page images

senting not only the University of Vermont but testifying also as chairman of the American Council on Education's Commission on Governmental Relations, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

Dr. Coor has been president of the University of Vermont for 3 years, following a long administrative experience with Washington University in St. Louis, which is one of this country's finest private universities.

It would be difficult to find a witness with closer exposure to the problems of student assistance in both public and private higher education. Mr. Chairman, Dr. Coor could not leave the private college behind by moving to a public university in Vermont. His campus adjoins three private colleges. While his university is our State's largest institution of higher learning, we have far more private colleges than public ones in Vermont. At those private colleges, 83 percent of the aggregate enrollment is from out of State. At the same time, 83 percent of our native Vermonters who are attending Vermont colleges are enrolled in our public colleges, half of them at the University of Vermont.

With Dr. Coor, the concerns of out-of-State students are vitally important. The University of Vermont attracts nearly half of its nearly 11,000 students from other States. I think everyone here will be interested in knowing that the univeristy receives as much money under the SEOG program of supplemental grants as under the BEOG program of basic grants, about $1 million in each category. That circumstance alone makes Dr. Coor a very special witness. I am highlighting this one point about diversity in our educational system because one of the very important problems facing this subcommittee is how to maintain a balance in our student assistance programs which will encourage study at public universities and at the same time not cause our private colleges to suffer any new disadvantage in attracting students.

Dr. Coor is in as good a position as anyone in the country to comment constructively on this problem. I welcome Dr. Coor as a very special witness, Mr. Chairman, and look forward to his testimony.

Senator PELL. Thank you very much, Senator Stafford.

And today we have not only Dr. Coor, we have with us Dr. John Terrey, the executive director of the Washington State Board for Community College Education, Olympia, Wash.

Dr. Kermit Morrissey, president, Boston State College, Boston, Mass. Dr. Melvin Eggers, president of Syracuse University. Dr. Coor, would you lead off please?


Dr. COOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and to you, Senator Stafford, for that gracious introduction. You could not better have stated the theme that we wish to bring to you today.

In this very committee in 1972, landmark legislation in American higher education was passed. As a higher education representative from Vermont, I am reminded of the significance of that, for exactly 110 years before your landmark legislation in 1972, a Senator from Vermont, Justin Morrill, passed what we all think was America's greatest contribution to the concept of higher education, the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862.

It is my judgment, widely shared within the higher education community that what began here in this committee, under your leadership, Mr. Chairman, and finally adopted as American national public policy on student assistance is comparable in significance, and that 110 years from now higher education and public officials will look back upon this significant breakthrough in American higher education by providing basic support for all students.

It is our purpose here today to bring to you two messages. First, as opposed to 1972 where not all of us fully understood the implications and the magnitude of what was being proposed and where, in fact, there were occasional disagreements about the nature and character of that legislation, we are here today in concert, in a coalition of representatives from throughout higher education, independent and public, represented in this panel today, but more broadly represented by all of the major associations in higher education, to bring to you with one mind that we believe the basic concept of student support embraced in the Higher Education Act of 1972, now before you in its amended form for reauthorization, is a significant major piece of legislation, and together we bring you our common thoughts as to what the future should be for that legislation.

Second, we bring to you our view that this basically sound piece of legislation, with a few basic alterations, those embraced in legislation that has already been considered to some extent on the House side and is actively before you now in the form of S. 1841, provides a significant improvement on that basic concept, so that today it will provide with these amendments in the reauthorization a balance of access for needy students, both through the public sector and to the independent sector.

Mr. Chairman, that, to me, is the key of our appearance here today, and in formally submitted testimony, we have provided greater elaboration on that, including a number of points. Just a few I will touch here, but the highlights of our presence is as I have just indicated, that together for all of higher education we are in agreement on what we wish to recommend to the Senate and to the House and that we believe, with the adjustments now being discussed, that American national policy will provide a balanced

access for needy students in all institutions in both the public and the independent sector.

We wish, I on behalf of the University of Vermont, and as Senator Stafford has indicated, the American Council of Education and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, strongly support the principal provisions of S. 1841, as amended in part by the final version of H.R. 5192.

It provides, as you know, three basic stages for an increase in the basic educational opportunity grants, the Pell grant, that today constitute the heart and soul of student access to American higher education. It calls for a carefully worked out, proportionate modification of the half-cost limitation for students at lower priced institutions, and it calls for an improvement in the special education opportunity grants so that students can acquire up to 75 percent going to higher priced institutions.

We endorse the concept of SEOG thresholds and of establishing threshold levels of funding for the special State incentive grants. As well, we support most of the provisions of Senator Williams' bill, 1870, and you know the details of that including the concept of the 3 percent loan as it stands in the national direct student loan.

In addition, we wish to endorse the concept of the administrative cost allowance originally by you and now in the new form, and also two steps for a less than half-time student.

In short, Mr. Chairman, we believe this legislation before you provides a strong and appropriate step and we endorse it fully. [The prepared statement of Dr. Coor follows:]


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee,

I am Lattie Coor, President of the University of Vermont. I am honored to participate as a member of this panel, which represents all sectors of the higher education community, to present our views on the reauthorization of the student grant provision of Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

My colleagues include Melvin Eggers, President of Syracuse University and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, who will speak on behalf of the independent sector; Kermit Morrissey, President of Boston State College, representing the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and John Terry, Executive Director of the Washington State Community Colleges, who is a member of the Government Relations Committee of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges. I am here in a dual capacity, as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant

Colleges and as chairman of the Commission on Governmental Relations of the American Council on Education, which is composed of more than 1,600 colleges and universities in all sectors throughout the nation.

It is a particular pleasure for me and my colleagues to appear before this Committee, Mr. Chairman, for it was here, under your leadership, that pioneering work was done in 1972 to create a wholly new era in American higher education, with the establishment of a comprehensive student based financial aid program. We in Vermont have long been proud of the tradition fostered by our own Senator Justin Morrill in 1862 through his concept of the land-grant institution, and we believe it to be one of America's greatest contributions to higher education. I believe future historians will look back upon the development of the comprehensive student based financial aid program one hundred and ten years later as being comparable in significance to the Morrill Land-Grant Act.



Mr. Chairman, and to all of the Members of this Committee, we

owe a deep debt of gratitude. Not everyone understood the magnitude of this venture when you launched it in 1972. Indeed, even within the higher education community, there were disagreements and even opposition to various features of the program. The significance of the various student aid programs, however, is now fully understood and supported by everyone in higher education.

Happily as well, differences of opinion within the higher education community of years past has given way to mutual agreement as to the value of these programs. I can report to you, therefore, that we come, from the various sectors of higher education represented on this panel today, with a consensus on the recommendations we will make for improving the student aid programs. While all of us have different perspectives and concerns which we will describe as representatives of our different associations, we all strongly support the principal provisions of H. R. 5192, the bill reported by the House Committee on Education and Labor on September 26.

Specifically, we support the three-stage increase in Basic Grants to maintain the value of the award relative to inflation, accompanied by proportionate modification of the half-cost limitation to assure that the neediest

students attending lower-priced institutions share equitably in the benefits of increased assistance.

Of parallel import to our consensus is the provision stating the policy goal that, just as students at lower-priced institutions would be assured that Basic Grants in combination with family contribution eventually could meet 75 percent of their costs up to a maximum of $2,700, students at higher-priced institutions may have the opportunity to obtain 75 percent of their costs through a combination of family contributions, Basic Grants, and supplemental grant


« PreviousContinue »