The Faculty Council yesterday unanimously passed a proposed new financial aid program for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). The plan will be submitted to the full Faculty for a vote next Tuesday.
The new proposal, based on last year's controversial Kraus Plan, introduces a need-based analysis into the previously merit-oriented GSAS financial aid program.
The plan calls for a two-tiered admissions system whereby no student would be admitted unless the department and the GSAS are prepared to provide him with scholarship support up to a minimum need-related level, or unless the student has realistic sources of self support.
Under the plan, departments retain the option to fund scholarship students $1000 below their calculated need, and to use the extra funds for merit scholarship for high quality students who do not qualify for need-based grants.
Burton S. Dreben '49, dean of the GSAS, yesterday called the proposal "a very complex plan of compromises that is the best we can do given our resources."
Dreben said the plan has met with majority approval from all graduate student-Faculty committees that have reviewed it. He said that he expects approval from the full Faculty next week.
"I hope students will be pleased with the plan," Dreben said. "There are parts that they don't seem to approve of, but those deal with students who will not be admitted because of the plan. Students here will get more money than with any other plan, and more than at any other university."
Graduate students leaders contacted yesterday expressed disapproval of the new plan.
Barry J. Harrington, a fourth year graduate student in physics and a member of both the Committee on Fellowships and Other Aids (CFOA) and the Committee on Graudate Education (CGE), called the two-tiered aspect of the plan "inequitable."
"If a student is not self supporting, Harvard is not only refusing to give him money, they're also refusing to admit him. I don't think it's fair to deny someone entrance because his family doesn't have the money," Harrington said.
"This plan will affect the atmosphere of the graduate school by significantly decreasing the number of needy students," he said. "It's going to change the school's entire socio-economic mix and that's not good for Harvard in the long run."
Harrington said his other objections to the plan are the extent of the merit-based awards, the $1000 gap between a student's scholarship and his expenses, the elimination of a fall term stipend, and the failure to adjust awards to rising costs due to inflation.
"From what I can see, all the problems that led us to a strike last year are still there, in addition to the two-tiered system," Harrington said. "The problems facing graduate students are worse than ever, and when they hear about this plan, most won't like it."
Lawrence Vaughn, a fourth year graduate student in history and a member of CFOA, said yesterday he liked the fact that the plan was related to need, but said that it does not provide enough scholarship money.
"Whenever Harvard tightens its belt, it always squeezes the graduate students," Vaughn said. "A lot of people are beginning to realize they aren't going to get a good deal from this plan."
Faculty members contacted yesterday were hesitant to comment on the plan until it has been acted upon by the full Faculty. Konrad E. Bloch, Higgins Professor of Biochemistry and director of admissions for the department, called the plan "the best of a bad situation."
For the past two weeks, department chairmen have been holding informational meetings on the proposal with Peter S. McKinney, administrative dean of the GSAS
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