Princeton, Brown Consider Middle-Income Loans

Princeton and Brown Universities may institute new student loan programs modeled after Harvard's, allowing middle and upper-middle class students greater flexibility in paying tuition, representatives of the two schools said yesterday.

Harvard's Parent Loan Plan (PLP), which enables parents whose incomes range from $15,000 to $50,000 to pay tuition in monthly installments over eight years, was implemented this year.

PLP increased the number of middle class students entering the Class of 1980 by 4 to 5 per cent. Harvard Treasurer George Putnam Jr. '49 said yesterday. In recent years, the proportion of Harvard students in this income range, particularly in the $20,000 to $35,000 group, declined.

Spokesmen for the Yale and Columbia Universities financial aid offices said yesterday they had seen similar declines and "imbalances" in freshman class income distributions, but that they are not presently considering this type of program.

Approximately 8 to 10 per cent of the Class of 1980 took out PLP's averaging $4000 each, R. Jerrold Gibson '51, director of the Office of Fiscal Services, said yesterday. Thirty to 40 upperclassmen are also using the program, bringing the total number to approximately 150, he said.


Kenneth Osterberg, director of undergraduate financial aid at Columbia, said yesterday Columbia probably will not implement such a program. For Columbia, which has suffered from severe financial difficulties in recent years, it is a matter of deciding "how you are going to use your own institutional resources," Osterberg said. Columbia probably needs tuition revenue now, rather than in eight years.

This type of loan program "is a convenience," he said. "You're dealing with people that are not saying, 'We can't afford it,' but rather those who are saying 'We'd rather not afford it right now.'"