“This is a good day for U.S. colleges and universities. Everyone in the higher education community, but particularly students, should be pleased at President Clinton’s signing of the Higher Education Act today. With the stroke of his pen, students and their families will enjoy the lowest interest rates on student loans in two decades.”

“This bill stands out, for another reason: the bi-partisan support it enjoyed. At a time when so many legislative items have gotten tangled on the horns of partisanship, this one escaped those difficulties. It did so because this nation puts a special emphasis on higher education. A college education is and has long been recognized as the mechanism that translates aspirations into achievement and prosperity, and the institutions we have built are the envy of the world for their openness and effectiveness. This bill, in its passage and in its content, reaffirms that idea.”

“Beyond lower interest rates, the legislation contains other real benefits. It retains all six major student aid programs, which had been threatened in the past. It authorizes much-needed increases in Pell Grants, the fundamental scholarship program for the disadvantaged. And it maintains graduate and international educational programs.”

“This bill will also allow greater freedom to universities and students to make use of distance learning technologies, providing us in the future with the prospect of exciting new ways of educating students.”

“It is true that more might have been done for our national higher education enterprise – and such action would have been a great investment in our nation – but we should all be pleased that this bill has been signed into law.”

Dr. L. Jay Oliva, Ph.D., is president of New York University. NYU, which is located in New York’s historic Greenwich Village, is a prestigious national research institution and the largest private university in the U.S. Through its 13 schools and colleges, it conducts research and provides education in the arts and science, law, medicine, dentistry, education, nursing, business, public administration and service, social work, continuing studies, and the dramatic, cinematic and performing arts.

Press Contact

John Beckman
John Beckman
(212) 998-6848