Federal aid to college students has a "rocky road to travel" before it passes Congress, Representative Foster Furcolo (D-Mass.) said yesterday.
Furcolo, who has introduced unsuccessful bills in 1949, 1950, and 1952, told the CRIMSON that legislation on which Federal Security Administrator Oscar R. Ewing is now working, "while not identical, does incorporate many of the same features as my bills."--He said he doubted that the new legislation would have any more success than his bills have had in the past.
"I have every belief that the bill will be passed if it ever gets to the floor of Congress, but there will be considerable difficulty in getting it out of the education committee," Furculo commented.
He denied that there is any organized opposition to the bill, attributing its previous failure to "congressional inertia." He said that in the past, Congressmen have been unwilling to support legislation which they were not sure would work.
Furcolo said the fact that the administration is strongly behind this legislation may help it through Congress. In his budget message last fall the President declared that there is a need for "an increasing number of people who have advanced education and training." He added that a program of federal scholarship aid "is the logical and practical answer," and asked for an appropriation of 20 million dollars to implement the plan.
Ewing is now working on legislation which would provide for such a program, beginning July 1, with a 30 million dollar appropriation. In the first year the money would go towards scholarships for high school graduates--both boys and girls--"of demonstrated ability and need." It would also insure loans made by colleges and universities under their normal procedures.
Scholarships would be limited to $800 a year and could be granted up to four years.
The program provides for an increase in appropriations each year, reaching 60 million by the fourth year. Officials estimate that more than 50,000 students would receive aid annually.