Page images
[blocks in formation]

of one scholar advance the work of another..

If they are not readily available to practicing scholars, the pace of research and knowledge production is slowed, the academic enterprise is fragmented, duplication

of effort is encouraged, and the United States inevitably falters in its effort to retain its critical advantage in the production and utilization of advanced research.

It is simply the regrettable but unavoidable fact that individual scholars and university libraries cannot afford to subscribe to all the periodicals that they need. The National Periodicals Center would ease this problem. It is an entirely appropriate activity for a federal government that already spends billions to support scholarly research, and its cost is miniscule compared to the benefits it would yield.

I should like to add my strong support to the proposal embodied in one form in Title VI of H.R. 5192 to increase

[ocr errors]

and rationalize our programs of support for foreign studies


and language development.

For more years than I care

to remember, I have found myself annually pleading with Presidents and their budget directors to allot funds for such purposes, and with Appropriation Committees to supply those funds. I have come to the conclusion that the principal impediment to that effort is that the programs are too small and scattered to attract the attention that their purposes demand. They positively invite budget examiners to cut or eliminate their funding, precisely because they are so small and obscure as not to seize

the attention

of policy makers, and because their constituencies are so specialized. It may not be necessary to train more than three graduate students a year in Urdu or six in Burmese, but it is absolutely essential that they be trained, if this nation is not to retreat into the kind of inadvertent isolationism that results when a nation has no one who understands the cultures or can communicate in the languages of other nations. These activities will undoubtedly remain small, but if they are to remain at all they require a degree of coherence, visibility and rationality in our authorizing statutes that they have not thus far had.

I also want to say a word about Title VII of H.R. 5192, which would strengthen and clarify the program of federal aid to colleges and universities for construction and renovation of academic facilities. This is important for three



institutions need financial help if they are to

make their buildings fully accessible to handicapped persons;
if they are to modify their buildings to conserve energy;
and if they are to replace or renovate antiquated facilities
and equipment so as to make possible the conduct of modern
research, particularly in the sciences.

I am not certain that the mix of funds provided in H.R. 5192 is the correct one. I am concerned that undue emphasis may be given to loans, which are at best a troublesome means for nonprofit institutions to engage in capital con

struction projects, rather than straight forward grants, and

I am not sure that sufficient emphasis is given to the graduate facilities that include most of the research


[ocr errors]


as opposed to the enterprise. But some such reform and extension

of federal assistance with the soaring costs of the academic physical plant is absolutely vital, and I urge this Subcommittee to make adequate provision.

My final comment returns to the subject of student aid and to Title IV. One of the reasons that there seems to be insufficient leeway in the overall federal student assistance budget for adequate grant aid is because we now find ouselves spending so much to subsidize studdent loans. It is not at all clear to me that subsidized loans are an efficient

means of providing aid to needy students, especially when


hundreds of millions of dollars in loan subsidies

will be going to students who, by the definition of Title IV itself, are not "needy." I favor easily accessible loans

to students and parents, and am prepared to see such


loans made directly by the federal government as well as by private lenders, but if adequate provision were made for grant aid to needy students it 'might not be necessary to assume that every federal student loan should be subsidized. differently, some reduction in or limitation on loan subsidies could supply the resources needed to provide more adequate grant aid to low and lower middle income students and thereby equalize their "postsecondary purchasing power" in a much more direct, purposeful and equitable manner.

I hope that the Subcommittee will consider such a modification. I thank you for your attention and would be pleased to answer any questions that members of the Subcommittee might have.

Senator PELL. Our next witness is Dr. Dallas Martin, executive director of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and an old friend of the committee.


Dr. MARTIN. Thank you, Senator Pell. It is indeed a pleasure to be here again today to discuss with you our recommendations on reauthorization of the title IV student assistance programs.

I want to commend you, Senator Stafford and the other members of the_subcommittee, for your long support and patience in this area. Senator, as we have reviewed the particular programs, we find that, at the current time, they are working, and they are working very well.

Let me just say at the beginning that last year, thanks to your leadership by introducing the College Opportunity Act which later became MISAA, we have had an opportunity now to see that particular legislation enacted.

Let me share with you that, in comparision of statistics from the Office of Education just last month, that we have already found this this year in the total number of applications that it has risen by over 400,000 over 1 year ago at the same period in time.

However, a more dramatic piece of information, I think, that that same record shows is that we have over 900,000 more eligible

students participating in the programs than we had 1 year ago. So indeed, that program is working.

Likewise, our institutions have shown us that loan volumes and utilization rates in both SEOG and the college work-study program are directing these dollars to the students to which they were intended.

For this reason, we have submitted to you a series of recommendations which I would like to ask to have submitted into the record, and you will find that in these recommendations that we have three primary goals.

Our first goal is to provide a reasonable and continuing financial base for the existing grant and self-help programs to just assure current and future students that their goal of obtaining a postsecondary education will not be thwarted due to insufficient financial


In that regard, we have made recommendations that, No. 1, would provide annual step increases in basic grants. No. 2, we would increase slightly the threshold levels of the campus-based programs and add a threshold level for the SSIG program.

No. 3, we would address the award amounts in the various programs. No. 4, we would increase the authorization levels, and No. 5, we would establish a maintenance of effort level for State grant support to insure that there is not a cutback here in allowing the Federal-institutional-State partnership to erode.

Our second goal would be to provide more flexibility in the grant and self-help programs to adequately address the unique needs and circumstances that surround individual students. We would do this through several measures but among these would include, first, to increase the years of eligibility for students from the current 4-year limit up to the time that they have completed their baccalaureate degree or 5 years whichever is the least.

Second, we would eliminate all of the academic references that are contained in the various programs that cause differentiations and combine these into a single student eligibility section and use the definition that you enacted in the 1976 amendments dealing with satisfactory progress as determined by the institution as the primary criteria.

We would also include more flexibility in transferring funds between the various programs, particularly in the college workstudy program where it is very difficult for institutions to know exactly by year's end on an hourly basis how they are going to come out.

And we have also suggested, as a fourth provision, that we would increase the loan limits in both the NDSL and guaranteed student loan programs, and we would also modify the asset protection level to provide more equity and to eliminate the problem that we currently find that we discussed at the family contribution schedules in regard to home equity. As you well know, with the inflation that is going on in regards to the current home equity, many of the students that we thought that we would assist that were in the middle-income families under MISAA are, in fact, today being denied because of the inflated paper money that is showing up under home equity. We feel an adjustment needs to be made in this reauthoriztion to alleviate that problem.

« PreviousContinue »