Government, Business and Higher Education

March 22, 1961

Report Outline
Task of Financing Higher Education
Federal Aid to Colleges and Students
Aid from Corporations and Foundations

Task of Financing Higher Education

President Kennedy'S program for higher education, presented to Congress in a special message on Feb. 20 and in a proposed legislative measure transmitted on March 7, points up anew the expanding scope of federal assistance to the colleges and universities of the United States. The President is seeking authorization of a widened five-year program of college scholarships, continuation of a program of loans for dormitory construction, and establishment of a new loan program for construction of college classrooms, libraries, laboratories and other needed facilities.

The new program is advanced at a time when college administrators are pondering how they can accept increasing federal financial assistance and at the same time maintain the tradition of academic independence. This concern is shared by others outside the educational field. President Eisenhower, in a farewell address to the American people, sounded a warning against the possibly adverse influence of one type of federal aid to higher education—contracts for research projects.

“The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by federal employment project allocations, and the power of money, is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded,” the retiring President said, Jan. 17, in a televised address. Virtually all educators would agree with him that “the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research” due to extensive government involvement since World War II. More debatable was his contention that “partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
College Financing and Funding
Education Policy
Undergraduate and Graduate Education