A few of the pertinent facts behind the debate on student aid

Fact: There are some 3,000 colleges and universities in the US.

Fact: The number of 17-to 22-year-olds is shrinking; hence for the next 17 years, at the very least, these 3,000 colleges and universities will have a progressively smaller pool of traditional students to draw on to fill their classrooms and dormitories.

Fact: President Reagan's budget projections for the coming fiscal year show progressively smaller amounts overall for grants and loans to both undergraduates and graduate students.

Fact: Federal aid cuts are deepest in upper- and middle-income brackets.

Fact: Since the end of World War II, the federal government has provided major funding directly to higher education students, permitting them to attend the college of their choice, whether public or private, church-related or independent.

Fact: In 1980-81 some $3.7 billion in aid supported several million college and university students. Pell grants alone accounted for $2.4 billion of that amount.

Fact: In the 1980-81 school year a combination of Pell grants, Basic Education Opportunity Grants, College Work Study, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, and National Direct Student Loans provided more than 1 million students with funds to attend nonpublic colleges and universities.

Fact: Of these million students, 11 percent (119,000) reported family incomes of more than $36,000.

Fact: In the same year 7 percent of these aid recipients (77,000 students) reported family incomes of less than $6,000. And 13 percent (144,000 students) reported family incomes between $6,000 and $12,000.

Fact: Which means that some 70 percent of these one million students were from middle-income families.

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