Describing several possible alternatives to Reagan's proposals. Bok suggested a "contingent" plan which would fix interest rate or amount of repayment depending on a student's starting income after graduation. Highly-paid medical or law school students, for example, might repay more of their loans than graduates who become teachers or ministers at substantially lower salaries.
Such a plan might counteracts the danger that students would pursue careers with high starting salaries solely to pay back their loans, or that only the well-to-do might be able to finance any professional education at all Bok said.
A staff for the Committee on Education and Labor Relations present at the hearings who asked not to be identified said Bok's suggestion was "quite interesting" and had not been brought up before.
The audience of college presidents at the bearings was "restrained" but extremely supportive, the staff said adding, "The general feeling is one of support for higher education and financial aid" among subcommittee members and other congressmen.
The hearings reinforced impressions that Congress will offer considerable opposition to Reagan's effort to push his budget to a vote as an unamended package, said Susan Steinmetz, a legislative aide to Rep. Peter M. Peyser (D-N.Y.), who opposes the cuts Steinmetiz added. "I think we're going to put up a good fight."