Cutbacks in Federal Financial Aid Excised From Senate Budget Plan
After weeks of intensive lobbing, Harvard officials and higher education lobby is yesterday hailed as a major victory the elimination of nearly all financial aid cuts from the leading Senate budget proposal.
The amendment was incorporated Wednesday into Majority Leader Robert Dole's (R. Kans.) compromise budget plan which aides and lobbyists say is virtually guaranteed passage.
Under the original Dole budget proposal, which President Bok and other educators attacked as a serious threat 'o poor and middle class access to higher education Harvard stood to lose 26.5 percent of its federal college student and subsidy, according to a University analysis conducted last month.
The amendment sponsored by the budget subcommittee on education Chairman Robert T. Stafford (R-Vt), restores $2.2 billion in aid over the next three years and replaces the Administration and Senate Republican leadership plan to save more than $6.36 million by limiting grants and loans next year.
Under the Administration proposal, students would not be permitted to receive more than $8000 in aid per year. Moreover, the federally determined amount the student and family can pay--based on total income would be automatically subtracted from the $8000 maximum said Dole spokesman Walter Riker.
Riker said the difference would be made up by cuts in defense and other areas.
Under the new plan, however current federal and funding will be reduced by only $200 million in the form of decreased bank profits on Guaranteed Student Loans.
Harvard and universities nationwide campaigned vigorously against the measure, which they said would effectively prevent most students receiving federal and from attending private institutions.
Vice President for Government and Public Affairs John Shamrock said the move was "very welcome."
and that intensive lobbying efforts-in which Harvard took a leading role-were a critical factor in building support for the Stafford amendment.
But the new plan worked also restrict and to student where families have a gross adjusted change of less then $60,000. Director of Financial Ands James S. Miller said about 200 students might be affected.
Dole accepted the amendment because it could casts have been approved by a Senate vote, aides and lobbyists said.
A more comprehensive, Democrat sponsored amendment, which included even more favorable aid provisions, was defeated on Wednesday.
The House budget process, just getting underway, is unlikely to replace any cuts, aides and lobbyists said.
They also described the battle against the cuts as one of the most violent in memory.
John C. Vaughn senior lobbyist at the Association of American University, said the fight was "intensive and quite successful."
"There was an effort on the administration's part to put forward the idea that most aid is not targeted to the needy which it is, "Shattuck said.
During the lobbying effort, Bok met with several congressional leaders and held a press conference with other University presidents and Sen. Stafford to endorse has amendment during a trip to Washington last month