More middle income students decided to attend Harvard last year than in previous years, and it appears that a loan program introduced two years ago to ease the financial burden on those students may be the cause, R. Jerrold Gibson '51, director of the Office of Fiscal Services, said yesterday.
Studies have shown that students from middle-income families, with earnings in the $22,000 to $37,000 range, are less likely to choose to attend Harvard than students from families in other income brackets, William R. Fitzsimmons '67, director of Admissions, said yesterday.
The number of middle-income students choosing to attend Harvard rose by six per cent last year, the first year during which the new loan plan was in effect, Gibson said.
The program enables parents to stretch college term bill payments over an eight year period.
Most students eligible for the loans are unable to qualify for Harvard's financial aid program.
Brenda L. Sparks '81, a participant in the loan program, said that although the loan is helpful it did not greatly influence her decision to attend Harvard.