SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY
The editors take aim at the good, the bad and the ugly.
Ah, the Harvard vocabulary. In this week's plea for our money, Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles noted that "nearly 70 percent [of undergraduates] have some form of aid, such as loans and jobs." We at Dartboard have gotten used to saying we are concentrators (not majors), who eat in dining halls (not cafeterias). But discovering that we "receive aid" instead of "get paid" for our jobs is going a bit too far. The Financial Aid office helped not a whit in finding Dartboard's non-work study, term-time job making Xeroxes and running errands for $6.50 an hour.
President Neil L. Rudenstine's aid package for 1996 totaled $257,533, and he didn't even have to fill out a FAFSA. Moreover, counting in those "aid" packages Knowles lauds are of course the unsubsidized loans, all 100 percent repayable (with interest). These loans are fully funded by the federal government and they are available to any student at any accredited institution. If outside loans really constitute aid, Mastercard and Visa are some of the biggest suppliers of student aid today.
The one-in-five undergraduates with "aid packages" consisting solely of loans and jobs should be insulted by Knowles' estimation of their intelligence. This so-called aid doesn't cost Harvard one crimson cent. To paraphrase a masterfully-written University statement, Knowles is a skilled storyteller. However, much of his version of the particulars surrounding student aid packages is at odd with the facts--facts those at Princeton, Yale and Stanford seem to understand just fine.