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I wholly associate myself, Madame Chair, with your observations on the importance of expanding aid for all students, which I know is the view of Chairman Ford, as well as Chairman Pell in the Senate.
I disagree with the administration's proposal to target the majority of Pell money to families with incomes of less than $10,000, because doing that would make it even more difficult for many needy, I reiterate "needy" students, from lower and middle income families to qualify for grants.
When I heard you speak of your proposing the Middle Income Student Assistance Act, Madame Chair, I recall that in 1978, when I was majority rep, Congressman Ford came to my office in the Capital.
There the two of us put together the Middle Income Student Assistance Act of that year and persuaded President Carter that it would be a very good idea if he got on board the "train," because we let him know that it was going to move out of the station.
He decided to become the engineer. He invited us to the White House, at which point you will recall, we announced that legislation.
I suggest further that the termination of Pell awards be tied in some manner in levels of tuition and that larger grants be given freshman and sophomores.
And finally, I hope you will consider favorably the proposal made by members of both bodies, to make the Pell grants an entitlement. I join the majority of leaders in the higher education community in recommending increased loan limits for the Stafford loan program.
You rightly spoke of the serious issues of student loan defaults and I know that your committee is already aware of studies that show that a substantial volume of defaults occurs at profitmaking trade schools.
I should tell you, so that you will know, that at New York University the default rate is under four percent.
We take very seriously our responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the program.
I want to say that as the students who often graduate from college with sizable and in many cases unmanageable debt, you must be concerned about that issue.
I would favor allowing loan recipients to stretch out repayments and consolidate various loans.
I also hope, Madame Chair and members of the subcommittee, that if you review these programs, the campus base programs, SEOGS, College Work Study, Perkins Loans, that in order to be responsive to changing students needs, you will consider giving campus administrators more flexibility in transferring funds from one program to another.
I oppose the effort of the Bush Administration to kill all Federal contributions to the Perkins Loan program, which as you know provides institutions money for loans to needy students.
Withdrawal of such funds would cause hardship on many campuses, including ours here, where we rely on Perkins loans to supplement other sources of aid.
I'm just saying in 10 years of my presidency at this university, we have more than tripled the amount of student financial aid that comes from university sources.
So we are working very hard to generate funds at the State level, as well as in the private sector.
But the Federal programs are absolutely essential to our capacity to make possible access to a first class education to talented but needy students.
In this connection, I want to say a special word of appreciation to Major Owens, for what we here call the Owens Fellowships that provide encouragement for minority participation and graduate education.
You may be interested, Mr. Owens, to know that this university has created a faculty resources network under which we have invited faculty from a dozen or so colleges and universities in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area to come here for high power seminars on certain subjects.
We have just in the last couple of years expanded that network to bring faculty from the historically black colleges.
So we're trying to be very sensitive to the importance of improving the quality of education for minority students.
I just have just become a member of the board of Spellman College myself. In fact, I'm going to my first meeting.
I conclude, Madame Chairperson
Mrs. Lowey. As the host, by the way, you may have another minute or two.
Dr. BRADEMAS. I've learned to talk fast, I was not on the Senate. I conclude by telling you that a symbol of what brings us together is perhaps represented by the action that caught the attention of all of us last week.
I wrote on letter on Friday to Bill Gray, in which I said, "Dear Bill, from one majority whip to another, from one president to another, greetings and congratulations."
I congratulated Mr. Gray on what I know must have been a difficult decision in some respects for him. But that Bill Gray, who is so widely respected, decided to become the president of the United Negro College Fund, is the best, I think, concrete symbol of the importance of the legislation that you are met today to consider.
To ensure access to talented but needy students to a first class education.
Madame Chairperson, members of the subcommittee, thank you very much for asking us here and I look forward, as do you, to hearing the comments of my other colleagues who appear before you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. John Brademas follows:]
Madame Chair and distinguished members of the subcommittee, let me extend to you a warm welcome to New York University. I am especially pleased, Representative Lowey, that a distinguished New Yorker is in the chair today.
It is, of course, a particular pleasure for me to act as your host here today. As you know, I served in Congress for twentytwo years throughout that time on the Education and Labor Committee and on the Postsecondary Education Subcommittee. And if you will allow me to say so, I continue to take pride in having played a part during that time in shaping the policies of our national government in support of education and culture and other areas of American life.
I am honored as well to appear with several distinguished New Yorkers Dr. Timothy Healy and the Honorable Jorge Batista, even as I welcome my fellow presidents, D. Bruce Johnston and Patricia Ewers.
If as a Member of Congress I devoted my time to education, obviously I continue to be preoccupied with teaching and learning as, since 1981, president of New York University.
I think it fitting, indeed, that you should choose for your forum today a university Campus.
The decisions you and your colleagues on the Committee make over the next year will have a profound impact on the institutions of higher learning of our country, the lives of the students who attend them and, it is not too much to say, the future of the
In the United States, Americans face a burgeoning array of problems -- from combatting crime and drugs to cleaning up the environment, from fighting AIDS to helping the homeless, from reinvigorating a listless school system to reigniting a stalled
Looking abroad we see ample evidence of the swiftness and ferocity with which the world changes. The election of the first popularly chosen leader in the history of Russia, the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, an assassination and end of a ruling dynasty in India.
Who would have thought these developments possible even a year ago?
What seems to me obvious is that to deal with the changes and challenges I have cited --both international and domestic will require all the knowledge, intelligence and imagination we can muster. And I think it is not parochial of me as a university president to assert that it is difficult enough in the best of circumstances to cope successfully with such immense problems but that it will be impossible to do so without a cadre of highly educated men and women.
In fact it is no exaggeration to assert that in the modern world, human capital is the most precious resource a country has. Indispensable to the production of that human capital are colleges and universities. And indispensable to both excellence of and access to higher education is the support of the Federal government.
Moreover, the American people have come increasingly to recognize that what happens in our schools, colleges and universities does not happen directly affects the strength of our economy, the security of our borders and the mality of our national life.
The role of your committee will be crucial to reaching those goals. To you falls the task of extending and, where appropriate, modifying the Higher Education Act.
This measure is one to which I feel strong bonds, having helped write the original Higher Education Act of 1965 and its landmark amendments in 1972 and 1976.
So I am well aware of your responsibility -- and your opportunity.
I am also aware of the high quality of leadership this committee brings to its work. Your chairman, Congressman William D. Ford of Michigan, is one of the most knowledgeable, skillful,
energetic legislators in Congress. I count him a valued friend as well as former colleague.
NYU and HEA
What I want to do this morning is place your deliberations in concrete context by drawing on the example of New York University to illustrate the significant ways in which the Higher Education Act contributes to this university and its students.
About New York University: We are the largest private university in the United States, with some 44,000 students in 13 schools, colleges and divisions, a faculty that numbers over 5,000, and an annual budget of $1.2 billion.
Nearly half that budget can be ascribed to the NYU Medical Center. I must also point out that in terms of this university's endowment, on a per-student (FTE) basis, NYU is far from a rich institution.
As a result, my colleagues and I have to work hard to raise funds from private sources to supplement the tuition and fees paid by students and their families. But neither private philanthropy nor student tuition is enough to do the job. We must look to governments, both state and Federal, and in particular, Federal, for support of research and student financial aid.
For 160 years, generations of immigrants to the United States have sent their children to Washington Square, where these young people have often been the first in their families to get a college education. For these students, many of whom come from low- and middle-income families, assistance from the Federal government is crucial to their ability to attend NYU.
I shall cite a few Titles of HEA to make the point that this legislation has a major impact on our nation's campuses. I won't attempt to be comprehensive in my analysis.
I turn first to Title II, the principal instrument of Federal support for academic and research libraries, library education and research in library and information science.
NYU's library system, like nearly all research libraries in the United States, is caught by the pressures of increasing demands for services, rapidly changing technology and inadequate financial support.
In order both to survive and to serve the needs of society, today's libraries must modernize, economize and share the use of modern technology through cooperative bibliographic networks.