CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - SENATE
February 6, 1962
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 10 minutes remaining.
Mr. LAUSCHE. I reserve the remainder of my time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon has 30 minutes.
Mr. MORSE. Mr. President, I yield 10 minutes to the Senator from Maine [Mr. MUSKIE]
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator from Oregon for yielding me this time.
Mr. President, I rise in support of title II, S. 1241, and against the amendment offered by the distinguished Senator from Ohio. I support the provision of the bill providing a scholarship program for needy and able students who wish to continue their education beyond high school.
I support this provision of the bill for two reasons: First, it recognizes the fundamental principle of equal opportunity for all young people to secure an education according to their ability and not according to their station in life; and, second, it recognizes the importance to a free society to invest in the training of young people to qualify for the professions, and to develop other skills of importance to our country.
As Governor of the State of Maine and as a Member of this body I have said on many occasions that I am committed to equal opportunity in education for all young people, regardless of their geographic location, economic status, race, or creed. This has been the basis of my enthusiastic and continuing support for legislation providing general Federal assistance for elementary and secondary public school education.
I regard the proposed scholarship program as an extension of that principle to advanced education. It is in line with the Morrill Land Grant College Act, which has provided public institutions of higher education. It has a precedent in the GI education bill. It is a logical extension of the loan program under the National Defense Education Act.
Mr. HOLLAND. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. MUSKIE. I am happy to yield.
Mr. HOLLAND. How does the Senator reconcile the two programs he has mentioned; the National Defense Education Act, under which loans are made for the purpose of allowing youngsters to get an education which presumably will help our country to be better defended, and the program the Senator is now supporting in the instant bill, which would give grants instead of loans to other young Americans for any type of education they may choose to obtain? How can those two approaches existing at the same time be reconciled one with the other?
Mr. MUSKIE. I shall make two points in reply to the distinguished Senator from Florida.
First, I consider the educated man, whether educated in the sciences or in any other subject, to be a bulwark of strength for a free society. Second, on the question of reconciling grants and loans, this is the thrust of the remarks I have prepared. I hope the Senator's question will be answered as my remarks unfold.
In 1900 only 7 percent of those in the age group of 14 to 17 years were enrolled in high school. By 1952, 20.7 percent of those in the 18- to 19-year-old group were in college; by 1960 the figure had gone up to 32.7 percent. By 1970 the opening enrollment in colleges and universities will be from 5.2 to 7 million.
This is a reflection not only of our increasing population; it is an indication of the increasing importance of advanced education to our society and to our economy.
A modern, complex, and highly industrialized society requires greater skills and more advanced training than an agricultural society. A free society, if it is to compete with a vigorous and determined totalitarian society -- and this point is responsive to the remarks of the Senator from Florida -- must make maximum use of its available talent.
Mr. HOLLAND. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. MUSKIE. I am happy to yield. I am limited in time, but I yield again.
Mr. HOLLAND. I have only one question. What is the line of demarcation made by the Senator as between the young people who would be eligible for loans only and those who would be eligible for grants?
Mr. MUSKIE. I do not think there is any such line of demarcation. When I was a young man I was one of those who was privileged --and I use the word advisedly -- to work my way through college. My parents did not have the resources to send me. I was able to go and was able to finish my education, 4 years of college and 3 years of law school, partly because I worked, partly because of scholarship aid, and partly because of loans from people who were interested in my future. I benefitted from loans, from scholarships, and from my own labors. I do not think there is any line of demarcation such as that suggested by the Senator.
I continue with my prepared remarks.
The fact is that we, as a nation, cannot afford to under educate our youth. If we do not make maximum provision for their education we will be selling them short, and we will be weakening our whole society.
As the distinguished Senator from Oregon has pointed out in his remarks, the increase in population, the increase in the cost of living, and the increase in the complications of education requirements have boosted the cost of education at a far higher rate than the general cost-of-living increase. In the academic facility loan provision and the community college grant provision of this bill we recognize the impact of these costs on the institutions themselves.
The scholarship program recognizes the impact of these increased costs on the students themselves. Institutions and private groups have made a consistent effort to help alleviate these costs by increasing scholarship resources. But even the average scholarship increase in the past 4 years of $63 has fallen far behind the tuition increase of $242 in the same period, and this does not take into account the increase in the cost of room and board.
There is little value is expanding the facilities of the universities and colleges if we do not provide some assistance to able students who may be kept out of school because they do not have the funds.
The Federal scholarship program provided in this bill does not supplant the excellent and necessary private plans; it is a supplement. In Maine, for example, in 1959-60, there were 1,901 scholarships, averaging $377, granted by institutions of higher learning for a total scholarship grant of $715,825.
If enacted as presently written, the scholarship program would provide for the State of Maine, in fiscal year 1962, 141 scholarships totaling $98,700. The total for fiscal years 1963 through 1966 would be 1,058, or a total of $740,600. In addition to the payments to students, the institutions they attended would receive a grant of $350 for each scholarship awarded.
Two basic objections have been raised against the scholarship plan advocated by the committee in S. 1241. The first objection is that the National Defense Education Act loan program is as far as we should go in providing direct assistance to students. The second objection is to the $350 grant to accompany each scholarship student to the college or university of his choice.
Implicit in the argument against the scholarship grant is the assumption that a student so aided will somehow lose his sense of initiative. If this were true, then the logical conclusion would be to abolish all scholarship aid, public and private. I doubt that any of my colleagues are willing to accept that conclusion.
There can be no doubt in our minds that financial need is an effective bar to education for needy students. As the distinguished Senator from Oregon noted in his presentation yesterday, a study by the American Council on Education has revealed that approximately 60,000 to 100,000 very able high school students each year are prevented from going on to higher education by financial need.
The PRESIDING, OFFICER. The 10 minutes yielded to the Senator from Maine have expired.
Mr. MORSE. Mr. President, I yield the Senator 1 additional minute.
Mr. MUSKIE. I know there are those who say that the student who really wants to go on will find a way, especially through the increasing loan programs. This is a relatively easy observation for those of us who have reached a measure of financial security, and who have realized the benefits of college and university training. For us, looking back, the investment would be worth it.
Mr. President, I came from a family of modest means. I managed to get through college by working, scholarship aid, and loans. I think I would be willing to make the same sacrifices today that I made too many years ago to want to remember -- but I shudder when I look at the cost of education today compared with what I had to pay when I was an undergraduate.
Scholarship aid for education does not reduce initiative, Mr. President. The GI bill certainly did not do so for many independent businessmen who are members of the chamber of commerce and who write to me to express their views on issues involving private enterprise and the Government.
The modest scholarships we are proposing would not wipe out financial problems for needy students. They would reduce the barriers to the point where students would be able to surmount them.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
Mr. MORSE. I yield 1 additional minute to the Senator from Maine.
Mr. MUSKIE. The answer to the related college grant is a simple one. Here again we do not begin to meet the whole cost. We are saying to the college, in effect, "We are sending you an able student. We recognize that his fees will not cover the entire cost of his education, and we are willing to shoulder a part of that burden." That contribution is not great enough to constitute discrimination against nonscholarship students, and it will not bar worthy students without scholarship aid.
Mr. President, this is not a grandiose program. It is a very modest means of opening the doors of educational opportunity for needy students who have the desire and the capacity to advance their education, but who, through no fault of their own, would be barred from that education because they lack the funds.
I urge that the Senate support the farsighted recommendation of the Labor and Welfare Committee for a scholarship program.
Mr. MORSE. I thank the Senator for his speech.
Mr. LAUSCHE. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. MORSE. I yield.
Mr. LAUSCHE. I should like to ask for the yeas and nays on the amendment. May I have the cooperation of the Senator from Oregon?
Mr. MORSE. Yes.
Mr. LAUSCHE. I ask for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
Mr. KEATING. Mr. President, a parliamentary inquiry.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator will state it.
Mr. KEATING. Would a yea and nay vote on the amendment in any way interfere with a yea and nay vote on an amendment to the amendment?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The ordering of the yeas and nays on the amendment does not preclude the ordering of the yeas and nays on an amendment to the amendment.
Mr. JAVITS. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. MORSE. I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from New York.
Mr. JAVITS. Mr. President, this is the first time I have been heard in this debate. I am a member of the Subcommittee on Education. I hope the Senate will pass the bill on to the other body.
[Intervening text omitted]
MR. LAUSCHE. We have the finest schools in the world. We have the students for whom those schools are available. Of course, the number of schools should be expanded, and I am in favor of that portion of the bill which will help to build them. We have the students to fill the schools; but when we seek to help them, the best way to help them, in my opinion, is to make the program available on the basis of loans.
Getting back to the thought of totality, we have provided $50 billion for the national defense this year. The budget is up to $93 billion. There have been deficits in 25 of the last 31 years. The purchasing dollar has fallen from 100 cents in 1941 to 46 cents in 1962. There has been a run on our gold. The request is made for the right to borrow more money.
What is the totality of the proposition? The totality is that we had better recognize that there is a limit on how much money can be ladled out by Congress.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, will the Senator from Ohio yield?
Mr. LAUSCHE. I yield.
Mr. MUSKIE. I appreciate the courtesy of the Senator in yielding to me. I simply wish to ask him a question concerning opening the door of opportunity. Is it his statement that this program would not open the door of opportunity to young people?
Mr. LAUSCHE. If money is loaned to student A, he will pay it back. When he pays it back, that money will be available to student B. When student B pays it back, it can be loaned to student C. That is a sound basis of approach.
The argument of the Senator from Maine is: Give the money to the student. He will not have to pay it back directly, but he will pay it back in taxes because his earning capacity will be increased. I say that if he can pay it back in taxes subsequently, then, frankly, it is better to ask him to pay it back as a loan.
Mr. MUSKIE. I think it should be stated, so far as I am concerned, that I am not arguing that a student's college education should be financed totally by loans or totally by scholarships or totally by his own earnings or totally by assistance from his parents.
I recognize the merit of loans. I benefitted from them myself. I found it possible to repay them. But I also benefitted from grants in the form of scholarships from private sources. Perhaps I derived the greatest benefit, a benefit which the Senator described so eloquently this afternoon, from the money which I earned by my own efforts. I agree with the Senator's statement in that respect.
But I am talking about what is necessary and reasonable for the average student of average means to have as a financial program to finance his education. With the increasing cost of education, the part which scholarships have played in financing the cost of education for the poorer student has diminished. The program of the bill would simply restore the role of scholarships in financing the program of students to something approximating the part they previously played. This will not result in an overbalance on the side of scholarship aid.