Aid May Sway Harvard Hopefuls

Many counselors, however, feel that financialaid changes elsewhere should be no cause forconcern in Cambridge.

"I don't think [the changes are] going tomatter. Students who are considering Harvardalready known how much it's going to cost," saysRuth B. Fischer of Germantown High School inTennessee.

"If one of my kids gets in to Harvard, they'regoing to go to Harvard no matter what," Fischeradds.

Linda J. DeVries of Wilson High School inPortland says she has found that students drivenenough to get themselves admitted to Harvard arewilling to make the sacrifices necessary to payfor a Harvard education.

"I think those students who have the academicrecord and the outside activities--the backgroundto make them Harvard-acceptable--would find a wayto get there if that's what they want to do,"DeVries says.


At Paideia High School in Atlanta, Director ofCollege Counseling Virginia L. Rose said Harvardoften relies on its reputation.

"I think what Harvard has in its favor is thatit's Harvard, but I don't think Harvard wants tosay that," Rose says.

Other counselors say in addition to the Harvardname, the University's traditional aid policieshave usually been generous enough to meet theneeds of the middle class.

"My students have never expressed anyunwillingness on Harvard's part to award financialaid," says Dean Strassburger, college counselor atLincoln Park High School in Chicago.

"I applaud what they've done at Yale andPrinceton," he says. "But Harvard may come closeto that anyway."

Eva Turner, director of college counseling atthe Gilman School in Baltimore, said Harvard hasestablished a reputation for generosity whichPrinceton, Stanford and Yale's changes areunlikely to erode in the near future.

"We have found that when it comes to Harvardapplicants, the issue of money is not a primaryconsideration," she said. "Harvard has been verygenerous."

Ultimately, Rose says, college counselors donot concern themselves with financial advice asmuch as they do with advice on a particularschool's suitability for a student in terms ofacademics and other related factors.

"I would absolutely not counsel them away fromHarvard for financial reasons," Rose says. "Thatwould end up being a family decision based on astudent's ability to take on debt."

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