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The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences(GSAS) has ended a scholarship program which now covers the full tuition costs of half of the University's 1200 teaching fellows, in a major reorganization of its financial aid program.
The GSAS is shifting the funds now used to finance the Staff Tuition Scholarships to the school's general scholarship budget, beginning next year.
In a letter sent to all students in the GSAS on Wednesday, R. Victor Jones, the school's dean, noted that "we are being forced to evolve a new viewpoint on financial aid" by drastic cutbacks in fellowship programs funded by the federal government and by private foundations.
Jones predicted that, by the academic year 1973-1974, the number of outside fellowships will dip below 800, down 38 per cent from 1300 externally-funded fellowships held by GSAS students in 1970-71.
"Translated into dollar amounts, the cutbacks in the fellowship programs represent an annual decrease of more than two and one-half million dollars in outside support, an amount which exceeds the entire financial aid budget of Harvard College!" Jones stated in his letter.
Teaching fellows will continue to receive a stipend of $1500 for each "fifth" of teaching they do, but will no longer receive any scholarship support as teaching fellows to cover the cost of tuition, which rises to $3000 for first and second year students next year and remains at $1000 for students in their third or later years.
To receive a scholarship covering all or part of their tuition, teaching fellows may now apply for support out of the regular scholarship budget.
Jones said yesterday that, by shifting funds from the Staff Tuition Scholarship program to the school's general scholarship budget, the GSAS will be able to use the resources it has more "equitably."
Some of the equalization will probably come at the expense of resident tutors, since--Jones noted--the room and board the University provides them will be viewed as a form of income when their scholarship applications are reviewed.
In deciding which students to recommend for scholarships, the departments' scholarship officers will "look at each student's sources of support," Jones said.
With the STS funds transferred to the general scholarship budget, the GSAS will be better able to deal with "student need situations," he said.
"Until now, financial aid has been dispersed almost solely on the basis of scholastic merit," Jones noted in his letter to the graduate students.
"Whether we like it or not, this is a luxury we can ill afford in the future. In making effective and equitable use of limited aid resources, judgments of financial need and self-help potential must be joined with judgments of scholastic merit," he continued.
Graduate departments will be "less and less able" to use scholarship funds to attract students it particularly wants, Jones said yesterday.
Meeting with Students
In his letter, Jones invited all students to meet with him and his staff at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Harkness Commons to discuss the financial and career problems facing graduate students.
Jones is also holding individual meetings with department chairmen to work out scholarship allocations for next year.
Several department chairmen contacted yesterday said they were not sure how the new aid system would affect their departments.
Otto T. Solbrig, professor of Botany and chairman of the Biology Department's committee concerned with graduate support, said yesterday that the new system "allows us more flexibility."
"It puts the grants to all graduate students on an equal footing. It will eliminate disparities in support," he added. Presently, he said, some teaching fellows who also hold fellowships receive more than $5000 support while other students receive only $1500.
In his letter to the graduate students, Jones announced that the GSAS will make a government-sponsored loan option available to graduate students. A similar program was announced for the College in January
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