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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 15, 1976)
thursday, January 15, 1976
Upgrade salaries, now or later
The question of faculty salaries reared its tired
head again at the NU Board of Regents meeting
last Saturday. . ,.n
University administrators predicted that
positions could be cut if the Nebraska Legislature
passes the budget recommended by its Appropria
NU President D. B. Varner also reported that
the university still ranks at the "bottom of the
bottom" in faculty salaries.
At issue is the university's request for a 12.32
per cent pay boost to bring salaries in line with
other Big 8 universities.
The Legislature, meanwhile, has to balance the
.tt .Mi'nct th rfrnmmnr1atirn of tVi
Appropriations Committee, which is to increase
salaries four per cent with an additional merit
raise of one per cent.
In the faH of 1974, the Daily Nebraskan print
ed all UNL faculty salaries and editorially called
for upgrading those salaries.
As time passes, the gap widens between what
faculty salaries are and what they should be.
Inflation has reduced what those salaries mean
and also has reduced the amount left over for
salaries after university operating expenses
have been taken care of.
Faculty salaries must be upgraded, though,
and at some time the move will have to be made.
Politicians can orate eternally on the university
and decry how much money it requires.
If the university is to survive, end to survive
is to continue to attract and keep comeptent
faculty, then salaries need to be brought in line.
Students can't expect to get the goods they
deserve unless NU competes in the marketplace.
Apologies are extended to tick Piersol, Daily
Nebraskan legislative reporter, whose Monday
column "Rarefied Air" was omitted from
yesterday's editorial on the spring '76 Nebraskan.
pro Sign here-no here; you may lose financial aid
By Neil Klotz
(This is the first of a three-part series on how to get
financial aid for the 1976-77 school year. Most deadlines
fall in the next three months.)
Ebenezer, meet the Ghost of Financial Aid Present.
You walk into the scholarships and financial aid office
looking for money for next fall. The director tells you
that, based on the information you gave about family
finances, you won't be expected to contribute toward
your education. This is according to a government
approved system of estimating financial need.
The next day you return and fill out more forms. This
time the director tells you that you are expected to"
contribute $1200 toward the cost of your education,
also according to a government-approved system.
You ask him which figure is correct. He tells you they
both are, and he can decide which one to use. At this
point you are ready to wake-up, but the director points to
a copy of the Federal Register and says, "Its all right
It is all there, I discovered, after a mind-boggling trip
through the rat's nest of regulations which surround the
three federal financial aid programs administered through
colleges: College Work-Study (CW-S), Supplementary
Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG) and National
Direct Student Loans (NDSL).
Essentially, if your financial aid office gives you the
wrong forms, you could lose a bundle in grants, loans
and work-study that you are legally entitled to.
At stake is almost a billion dollars' worth of financial
aid which students at more than 1 ,000 institutions may
not get their fair share of. It happened like this.
Early this year, the U.S. Office of Education (OE)
issued regulations that would require all private "need
analysis" firms like the College Board's College Scholar
ship Service (CSS) and the American College Testing Pro
gram (ACT) to submit for approval each year the formulas
they use to figure a student's financial need. In addition,
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"benchmark" figures. ,
Calling for more aid
The regulations were partly in response to a previous
announcement by CSS that it had adjusted its need
formulas to drastically lower a family's expected contribu
tion. This did not go over too well with the Federal
government, because it meant thousands of families across
the nation would be waving Parents' Confidential
Statements calling for more aid than OE had.
For instance, a family that previously was required to
contribute $1,230 would have to put up only $590 under
the new CSS formula. Under the federal "benchmarks,"
the same family would have to pay $990.
CSS and ACT agreed to a common formula that would
meet federal guidelines. But their system hasn't been
Then OE threw a curve ball. If a school did not want to
pay to use CSS or ACT, it could use two other free
systems which already were approved and ready for use. ,
These two systems, however, call for families to
contribute amounts far above OE's new "benchmarks"
set up, it seems, for everyone but itself.
The first, known as the "income tax system,"
stipulates that a family's contribution must equal the
amount it paid in federal income tax plus 5 per cent of its
assets above $12,500. Under this system a family that
would, for instance, pay $40 under the federal "bench
marks" would have to pay $940 under the income tax
Only slight improvement
The second system is only slightly better. It's the
Family Contribution Schedule used to award Basic Grants
(BEOG), a separate parcel of federal aid issued directly
from the government, rather than through schools. The
federal "benchmarks" use Bureau of Labor figures for the
cost to a family to maintain an average lifestyle, but the
BEOG system uses Social Security poverty level figures.
So while under the "benchmark" formula a family of four
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contribute to approximate almost exactly new federal allowed only $5,700 under the Basic Grant formula
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To put things in perspective, a family with a $12,000
income and assets of $20,000 would be required to pay
' $1,410 under the Basic Grant system and only $500
under the federal "benchmarks."
Did OE know it approved two systems which produce
figures way above its own schedule?
"The difference is recognized," an OE spokesman said,
but "the commissioner does not consider it desirable to
force institutions to use the services of a need analysis
contractor" and will continue to let schools use either of
the two systems.
Prefer one system
Could a school use both systems at the same time -or
a mixture of all three including the private firms?
"We would prefer one system used uniformly, but
there is nothing to prevent that variance," the spokesman
In one stroke OE seems to have muted demand foi
financial aid dollars by schools that unwittingly use the
"free" systems, and at the same time set up the possibility
for unscrupulous financial aid officers to give preferential
treatment to some students, merely by switching systems.
The snafu is compounded by the fact that the free
systems now are the only ones officially approved. OE is
telling all schools that have been using the private
contractors that they will have to "stand by" until the
CSS-ACT formula is approved. Meanwhile, most schools
have January deadlines for picking up need-analysis forms
and March deadlines for returning them so students will
know before summer how much aid they are to get. As
time runs out, "several schools" have turned to the
income tax or Basic Grant systems, an OE official said.
Even if most schools that have used CSS or ACT in the
past stick with them, more than ljOOO schools do not use
either. The vy teal danger is thai, when Ue schools
find out that what ever system (or combination of
guesses) they've been using must endure a federal approval
process, they'll turn to what the government says they
should use-the free system.
'Point out difference'
About all you can do at this point is make sure your
financial aid office does not use the income tax or Basic
Grant systems. If your officials are not aware of the
difference, point it out to them. You will have at least
hundreds and maybe a couple of thousand dollars of aid
bucks riding on it. So make the effort.
Things always can be worse, and in the financial aid
picture for 1976, they are. Another federal aid program,
the Guaranteed Student Loan, now is on trial in the
Lnited States Senate; for the last half-year, legislators
have heard gruesome testimony about sloppy record
keeping systems, misuse of funds by and bribery of
government officials, illegal collection processes,
negligence and on and on. In addition, Pres. Gerald Ford
iv!JS tying t0 rescind fund for student financial aid foi
1976. Even if he does not succeed, the Congressional
ppropriation for student aid actually is $190 million less
than last year because of inflation.
What can you do? Make sure you are (1) aware of and
(2) apply for every dollar you are eligible for. For the
next two columns, 111 do my best of the first point.
Number two is up to you.
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