Harvard has no intention at this time of joining the Yale deferred tuition payment plan, although it has been considering such a plan for at least two years.
The new plan, which Yale proposed on Thursday, would allow students to defer their tuition payments over a long-term basis, possibly up to 30 years after their graduation.
Chase N. Peterson '52, dean of Admissions and Financial Aids, said yesterday, "You'd need a consortium to make it work and so far that kind of organized thing has not appeared."
"The whole Ivy League is a much better vehicle, or an organization of northeastern colleges or ideally every college in the country for establishing a national plan funded by the government."
As for Harvard's own plans at the present, he said, "We are still negotiating our scholarship budget." In general, however, Peterson said Harvard's policy is that "outright scholarship is better for anyone than a loan is" and that falling back on loans is a "second line of defense" for a university trying to attract students.
One of the advantages of the plan, in Peterson's opinion, is that it "wipes out paternalism." Today "you go to college because Mommy says to go and Mommy's got the money," he said. Under the new plan, the person who gets the education is the one who pays for it.
As a result, Peterson said that in examining the plan, Harvard's policy would be cautious. It's a step backward when you start giving out loans rather than scholarship. We may have to step backward but we should not applaud it."