Aid May Sway Harvard Hopefuls

Harvard has made no formal changes to itscurrent policy, with President Neil L. Rudenstinepledging to keep the University's offers "withinshouting distance" of its competitors on acase-by-case basis.

In Walnut Creek, Calif., Los Lomas High Schoolcounselor Carolyn H. Procunier says students andtheir parents have already begun to take notice ofPrinceton, Yale and Stanford's reforms.

"Parents...are really educated and notice thesechanges," she said. "[Now] they feel like theyhave more of a chance than in the past...atPrinceton definitely."

In Knoxville, Tenn., guidance counselor BillieM. Chance says she and other counselors areencouraging students to apply to schools whichbefore this year they would not have evenconsidered because of cost.

Chance was asked if she was encouragingstudents to apply to Harvard as well as itsnow-reformed competitors.


"Probably just Princeton, Yale and Stanford,"she responded.

At the University School of Nashville, Directorof College Counseling Janet K. Schneider says moregenerosity makes schools like Princeton much moreattractive.

"If [one of my students] gets into Harvard andthey get into Princeton, and Princeton gives thema better package, they're going to go toPrinceton," Schneider says. "It won't haveanything to do with my counseling. It'll just becommon sense."

Counselors say Stanford's announcement that itwill use outside scholarships to erase loans andwork-study expectations is an attractiveimprovement.

Under policies like Harvard's, at least part ofany outside scholarships goes to reduce outrightgrants from the University.

"Some of our students applied to 30 differentoutside scholarships," says Gail A. Reilly, acounselor at Brooklyn's Technical High School.

"[Stanford's] new policies definitely would bea big plus for them."

Sandoval says, by amending its policies to bemore generous to the middle class, Harvard couldgive more qualified students the ability toattend.

"If Harvard suddenly announced moreflexibility, it wouldn't get a flood of newapplicants, because these people apply alreadyanyway," she says. "A change in policies wouldjust allow more people to say `yes.'"

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