|September 1954 Air Trails|
Table of Contents
Some things never grow old. These pages from vintage modeling magazines like American Aircraft Modeler, American Modeler, Air Trails, Flying Aces, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, & Young Men captured the era. I will be glad to scan articles for you. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
If you are in college now or contemplating such a thing, it is probably hard to imagine a time when people fretted over the extravagant costs of obtaining a degree when a full-time semester at State U. ran as much as $200-300. The entire school scholarship fund, to be doled out to hundreds of hopeful applicants, totaled a few tens of thousands of dollars for state schools and half a million for a place like Princeton. A four-year degree might have set you back $4,000-5,000 including books. Nowadays, of course, freshman courses can run $200-300 per credit hour and Princeton costs north of $50,000 per year. The cost of a college education has risen over the years, almost every year, at a rate much greater than inflation. That means it really is costing more, even in constant dollar figures, to get a degree - unless you are one of the increasing number of special status individuals who are getting most or all of their education paid for courtesy of taxpayers. I paid for every penny of my bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and qualified for zero dollars of grant money even though both my parents had died years before I started after a stint in the USAF (joined in 1978 and missed GI Bill by two years), and paid back every bit of the $8k in student loans I had. Today, my hard-earned taxes pay for a host of people who are not nearly as hard-up as I was when I went to school - they just happen to be in a more preferred demographic group than I happen to be a part of.
Borrowed Bucks" for College Years
Special Hobbies Survey for High School Students
There was this guy in high school the fellows called Shaky. Not nervous - just never felt certain about anything. Wanted to be a doctor, but kept telling people he couldn't see how because it cost a heap of money and he didn't have a bean. He lived down on River Road with his Grandma Hight, who had arthritis but took in sewing anyway; Shaky did odd jobs around town after classes. Coach wanted him to go out for football - said with those shoulders and steady ways he'd make a great guard. But Shaky said he couldn't take the chance of hurting his hands. Things like that.
Along in his junior year Grandma spoke up: why didn't he apply for one of these scholarships she'd read about which the lodge his dead pa belonged to gave to children of members? Shaky said those scholarships were only for a year at a time, didn't cover half the expenses. And as for earning his way - he said at State they wouldn't pass out part-time jobs to freshmen because of the study load in pre-med. In his senior year Mrs. Hight broke down and confessed she'd been saving the money he brought in all this while and along with her egg money there was practically enough for his first go-round.
But Shaky said no'm, even with what he could make during the three summer vacations ahead, plus the part-time while a soph, he'd barely be able to scrape through till his junior year. And that's when the going got tough, he said, what with big lab fees and more expensive books.
Know what? At the time Shaky hadn't heard about the loan fund which the State had on tap for its juniors and seniors which would have knocked the pins from under his final argument. He did hear another piece of news later ... a state medical body announced it would advance loans of $800 a year for four years to medical students and cancel the whole thing on agreement of the doc-to-be to practice in rural sections for a certain period of his career. But by then Shaky had a regular job, $48 a week, and said he'd been out of school too long.
Let us weep no tears for Shaky. Instead, we'll do something constructive by having a look at the whole picture of loans, another phase of student aid that might be of help to you in getting a college education. Previously (April 1954) we covered scholarships, meaning outright grants with no repayment expected. Loans for student aid, of course, spell money that has to be paid back - but these loans are not the straight commercial kind. For the latter you must put up collaterall to secure the borrowed amount. And since - let's face it - you don't own any valuable property, and the old homestead is probably mortgaged enough as it is, we will not here be concerned with the regular commercial loan.
Student-aid loans come from two main sources: the colleges themselves and from private organizations such as foundations, clubs and the like. You put up no collateral. They are betting on your future. In general these loans are limited to so much a year, from $100 up; $250 per year maximum is typical. There is also usually a max on the total amount you may borrow during your college career. Interest rates range 'from 1% to 6%, with 2% to 4% the most prevalent. In the majority of cases the interest does not start till after graduation, and in practically all instances you do not begin paying back the note itself until after leaving school.
Again generally speaking, loans are open chiefly to those in the junior or senior year of their college career, though some are available to freshmen. They are intended as an adjunct to other forms of aid, and frequently have the proviso that all such other forms must have been exhausted. You should have a good scholastic record - though it's not necessary to exhibit genius grades. Obviously, no lazyboners or chronic moochers need apply. If you are under age, a parent or guardian also signs the promissory note.
Most institutions of higher learning have loan funds designed to help the worthy, needy student finish his education. Massachusetts Institute of Technology has conducted such a fund for years; the overall figure now totals one and a half million dollars; interest is 1%. Carnegie Tech, with a loan fund of $72,000, charges no interest; average loan is $318. The University of Pennsylvania has $200,000 on tap, 2 1/2% to 3% interest, average loan $300. With these same category heads observed and in the same order, the following schools may be listed: Oberlin, $311,000, 4%, $200; Princeton, $800,000, 2%, $300; U. of Calif., $449,000, 5%, $100; St. Louis U., $36,000, 2%, $350; Montana School of Mines, $13,000, 2%, $100; New York U., $272,000, 4%, $200.
The University of Michigan makes loans to 2500 students totaling more than $250,000 in an average year. Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland makes loans up to the entire amount of tuition. Ohio State University has loans of $500-$750 for men. The University of New Hampshire, with a fund of $400,000, makes loans to sophomores as well as juniors and seniors. And the Dartmouth Educational Association lets you repay whenever you can after graduation.
A number of fraternal orders and clubs have special money set aside to lend college students. The Educational Foundation of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows has such loans for children of Odd Fellows or Rebekahs, with a maximum of $400 for one year and $800 during the whole course. Freshmen are eligible providing they are planning only a short two-year course, in which case it is not necessary to attend a regular college. Local units of Lions International make student loans, as do those of Rotary in various cities. Atlanta (Ga.) Rotary, for instance, will accommodate residents of the state studying there or elsewhere; and up to one-half of the estimated cost of a year's schooling.
The Worcester (Mass.) Boys Club maintains a fund providing loans up to $1600 during a four-year course that have no interest involved and may be waived entirely at the discretion of the trustees. You must reside in Worcester.
And the Educational Aid Fund of the Massachusetts State Grange will lend its junior members money even as college freshmen embarking on a four-year course, at any school: $250 maximum in anyone year, and every year if needed.
Most state branches and many local units of Parent-Teachers Associations conduct some student-aid program that includes college loans. As in the case of fraternal orders, it would be wise to inquire at your local P.T.A. And labor unions, also at the local as well as state level, are making increasing provision for loans to members and their children.
If you join a fraternity while at college and find yourself embarrassed financially about continuing your education, chances are the brothers will help you. Typical is the loan fund of Sigma Chi, which charges 3% after date of graduation, for members with above-average scholastic rating. Phi Lambda Upsilon, the national honorary chemical society, also requires a high scholastic record; amounts range from $50 to $300.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers administers a loan fund for its student members who are at least in their junior year. The amount depends on individual need. You can be studying mechanical engineering at any school in the country, and any M.E. undergraduate is invited to join the Society as a student member.
A growing number of states have programs making money available. to those who wish to enter the medical profession - and here the figures are big. The Illinois State Medical Society will advance as much as $5,000 over a period of five years to students native to Illinois counties that need doctors. You repay within five years after starting practice, at 2%. The Student Loan Fund of the North Carolina Medical Care Commission provides loans up to $3,200, or a maximum of $800 per year for four years for those wanting to study medicine or dentistry. Applicants must have been residents of the state for at least eight years prior to filing, and must promise to practice in small North Carolina towns for at least four years after graduating. Again, the interest is 2% annually.
And the Kentucky State Medical Association has a fund for loans which are canceled completely on condition that the student, after getting his diploma, practice in rural areas of the state for as many years as he was aided by the fund ... Other states have liberal loan arrangements for prospective doctors. Inquire at your state department of education.
All over the land private citizens of wealth desiring to make the road less rocky for students in need have set up foundations to lend them money while in college. And the process goes on continually. Generally the founder exercises his privilege of laying down certain restrictions as to who may apply or the kinds of courses for which the money is available.
Unusual is the character of the Slemp Foundation - not for being confined to residents or descendants of residents of Virginia's Wise County, but because the loan may be "forgiven" if the recipient attains high scholastic or special honors, in his college career. The greater the honors, the less to be repaid. Mr. Slemp's initial plan, for instance, called for a 50% reduction of the note for a semester in which the borrower made at least four straight A's, with at least passing grades in all other subjects.
The Henry Strong Educational Foundation Loan Fund is open to students attending Western and Southern colleges (juniors and seniors). Application preference is given those taking practical, scientific or business courses. Repayments may be made over a period of four years after graduation, at 3%. On the other hand, no interest is charged by the Hattie M. Strong Foundation, Inc., nor is there a set period for paying back. No qualifications are stipulated as to race, color or creed. Loans may be had up to $450 per year, with a course maximum of $1,000.
The Davis Cooperative Educational Plan, operating in Iowa, has for its purpose aiding the average and persistent student rather than the super-bright. Among the questions asked on the application blank are: how have you proved your initiative in earning, saving or using money? What is your hobby? How do you spend your spare time? There is no set amount. Recipients must promise not to join fraternities or enter into marriage before the loan is repaid. Mr. Edwin W. Davis keeps a paternal eye on his "alumni" for years after graduation, recording their progress.
Some religious groups have student lending programs. Loans for Jewish young men and women are made by the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations at American Universities. No interest charges, and no legal obligation to repay - though recipients are expected to return the money when able. Those living in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York are given preference.
The Presbyterian Church - which has yet other loan funds open at its church colleges - conducts one plan whereby those preparing for church work may repay borrowed money by donating one year of service to the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
Industry also is represented. Many large corporations provide loans to employees or children of employees who require money to finish their studies. Burlington Mills runs a foundation whose funds are available in any community where the company operates. You can get up to $500 for the first year and renewals up to five years. Nor must you work in the textile field after graduation. General Electric conducts two kinds of loan plans for children of employees, In the first ($250 per year maximum) the student repays after finishing school. The second plan ($200 per year at the most) allows the parents to repay by payroll deduction, from the start of the loan.
Although having no connection with that firm, the John and Olga Queeny Educational Foundation makes loans without interest and not over $500 to children of employees of Monsanto Chemical Co. or one of its subsidiaries, who have been at least five years in service.
An often unsuspected source of student loans is banks - and we don't mean the standard commercial kind of loan. Banks may be named to administer funds to lend needy scholars, as in the case of the First National of Portland, Ore., which handles the Crawford Student Loan Fund for Men (maximum $1,000). This one, mainly for residents of that city or residents going to school elsewhere, favors those studying mechanical arts, business and the like - but not law, medicine, teaching or theology.
Although not in the student loan field as considered here, a method for paying college expenses on the installment plan is offered through the Tuition Plan. This permits the payment of tuition and other academic fees in monthly installments, while the school or college receives the full amount at the beginning of the term. The additional cost of this service is 4%. intended primarily as a convenience, the Plan is of special help in cases where parents have "budget trouble" during the fall and winter months when expenses are greatest.
The Tuition Plan is available at about 400 authorized institutions throughout the country. If the contract - always made with the school - is for the conventional academic year, payments are in eight equal monthly installments. If it is for. any other period, the payments are made in as many equal installments as there are months in the period. To learn whether or not the school of your choice is on the authorized list, write to The Tuition Plan, Inc., 347 Fifth Ave., New York 16, N. Y.
Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken, N. J., has a time-payment arrangement of its own. Called the "Pay-As-You-Go" Plan, it enables students to pay for a full year's cost of tuition, books, laboratory fees, dormitory charges and other school expenses in 12 monthly installments, rather than in lump sums at the beginning of each semester. Two metropolitan banks advance the money to the Institute, and you pay the banks. (If you're under 21, parents or guardian must sign the notes.) Interest charges are 4%. The amount of the loan varies according to individual need.
Say the loan is for $100: then the student or parent signs a note for $104, and repays in 12 monthly installments of $8.67 each.
Another set-up at Stevens for easing the financial burden, although not in the loan category, might be mentioned here for its uniqueness. This is the Tuition and Scholarship Plan, whereby parents may make modest monthly payments toward their son's engineering course prior to his enrollment.
This has several advantages. The first is that of permitting parents to spread the cost of a four-year course over a minimum of five and a half years, instead of making a few large payments when college bills come due. Second, the plan contains provision for the student to complete his education without charge in case the parent dies before he graduates. Third, the parent is not required to pay additional expenses, up to a certain limit, if the school raises its tuition fee while the contract is in force. Still another advantage is that those accepted for the Stevens T&S Plan gain automatic priority in the event the college must limit the number of freshmen it can accommodate.
If you find it necessary to borrow bucks for college by all means investigate right in your own town, region or state. The Feild Cooperative Association of Mississippi has 300 loans a year, for Mississippians only. In Baltimore, the Central Scholarship Bureau will lend up to $700 to student residents - but the money must be used directly for your educational needs (tuition, lab fees, etc.) and not for room and board. The Parish Loan Fund of Louisiana, established by the state legislature, permits high school grads to borrow up to $400 for anyone year for their college education. The Florida Loan Corporation is interested in helping any needy boy or girl in the state obtain a higher education at the University of Florida or Florida State U. While a Rotarian enterprise, it is not necessary for the recipient to come from a town having a Rotary Club.
Warning: Don't be a Shaky. If you hanker to go to college, don't give up the idea because of lack of money. Start planning now. Learn what scholarships are available to you. Remember that at some of the largest colleges half the students earn all or part of their way. And as this survey on loans was intended to show, there are lots of folks in this country who stand ready to help young fellows with their education in case the financial picture grows dim no matter how hard you crank the generator.
Measure up, mister! Your future is worth the effort.
Posted April 4, 2015