To The Editors of the Crimson:
Your news story "New Federalism and Education: Federal Student Aid Cutbacks Force Massachusetts to Respond" that appeared over the-by-line of Jacob M. Schlesinger in your May I issue was recently called to my attention. In the story, Mr. Schlesinger refers to the press conference held at Suffolk University at which a study by the Massachusetts Higher Education Assistance Corporation, "Higher Education in Massachusetts: A Study of Enrollment and Financial Aid Requirements For Its Support" was released.
In paragraph 9 of your story, there is a sentence that may be misleading to your readers: "Nothing that students are expected to pay back $15 in aid for every $1 they are given, he (the president of Suffolk University) portrayed the dire economic burden of debt."
In commenting, at the press conference, on the 15-to 1 loan to grant ratio in Massachusetts, which was identified in the study. I was referring to the ratio of the dollar value of guaranteed loans to state scholarships in Massachusetts. It is not the case that "students are expected to pay back $15 for every $1 they are given. "It is the case according to the Massachusetts Higher Education Assistance Corporation, that Massachusetts students, on the whole, borrow $15 for every $1 available in Massachusetts State Scholarships.
The report observes that the lost-to-grant ratio is much lower in other states. The ratio of value of guaranteed loans to state scholarships is 4-to-1 in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and 3-to-1 in New York, according to the report. For this reason, the report recommends that the State Scholarship Program be increased by $10 million a year to reach a minimum of $65 million by 1986-1987. Daniel H. Periman President, Suffolk University