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THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM: EXCELLENCE WITH DIVERSITY FOR THE FUTURE: PROGRAM DESIGN 8 PROGRAM COSTS Planning activities for the first year of the National Scholars Program are estimated to be $0.5 million. The second and third years of the program would oversee implementation of three pilot National Scholars consortiums and an increase in the planning, coordinating, and oversight responsibilities of the National Scholars Coordinating Council. Total direct program costs would be $9.3 million for the two-year period. In 12 years, when the program reaches steady state, estimated annual expenditures for national program and consortium site activities would total $48.7 million, with undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships representing the major share of program costs. INTRODUCTION Because the National Scholars Program is a comprehensive effort involving many institutions and organizations, the costs of the program will depend on decisions within each consortium about how the program will be implemented as well as factors unique to each consortium. These include the number of students to be served at each level, the intensity and kinds of services provided, cost-sharing provisions, and estimated student financial need and cost-of-attendance at the undergraduate institutions. Also to be considered are prevailing stipend and support levels for graduate students, marginal costs associated with collaboration with other programs, inflation, and administrative costs. In developing cost estimates we have grouped costs into four categories. The first and largest expenditure is for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. A second set of costs is for support of summer activities, primarily the summer prefreshman bridge programs. The core National Scholars academic year consortium program and staff costs are a third set. The final category is the cost of the National Scholars Coordinating Council, including evaluation responsibilities and the annual National Scholars Conference. STUDENT SUPPORT Undergraduate Scholarships As discussed previously, we recommend that financial need not be a condition of eligibility for a National Scholars Program. However, the National Scholars Program will adopt a modified last dollar approach, meaning that the program will provide a National Scholars merit award to undergraduate students. This, in turn, will be supplemented by a grant to meet the full
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THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM: EXCELLENCE WITH DIVERSITY FOR THE FUTURE: PROGRAM DESIGN financial need of students. The amount of the need-based grant will be calculated after students have applied for and received any federal, state, or institutional financial assistance for which they qualify. In order to develop an accurate estimate of the cost of providing undergraduate scholarships to National Scholars, the following information would be required for each student: student financial need as established by federal methodology, cost-of-attendance at the institution in which the student enrolls, the amount of any institutional grant awarded, and all other scholarship assistance a student may receive. Because we do not have such information, we must make informed guesses about student family income, what kinds of institutions they may attend (cost-of-attendance), and the dollar amount of other scholarship assistance they may receive. Institutions that request funds to implement a National Scholars Consortium would, of course, be able to supply much of this information and should state in their proposal the cost-of-attendance, available scholarship monies, and anticipated grants to National Scholars. Some information is available that will assist in making estimates. The NASA-sponsored SHARP PLUS program summarized the income distribution of its apprentices. Since the minority high school students who participate in this program must have demonstrated an aptitude for and interest in pursuing science and engineering, these students are likely candidates for the National Scholars Program. Accordingly, their family incomes may be comparable to those of National Scholars. These data permit rough calculations of eligibility for Pell grants and highly speculative estimates of institutional need-based grants. Second, the College Entrance Examination Board conducts an annual survey of college and university tuitions, fees, room and board, and student personal expenses such as books, supplies, transportation, and other personal items. The figures are compiled by type of college—two-year and four-year, public and private, and residential and commuter (student). For 1995-96, the estimated total costs of attending a four-year public college or university as a residential student were $9,285. For private colleges, the comparable figure was $19,762. These are average values. We expect that many of the institutions that choose to participate in a National Scholars consortium would be more costly to attend. For example, the estimated cost of attendance at Colby College, a private liberal arts college, for 1995-96 was $27,940, exclusive of transportation. Cost of attendance also increases for out-of-state students who enroll at public universities where there is additional non-resident levy of several thousand dollars. The non-resident charge for students at the University of Maryland Baltimore County was $5,100 for 1995-96. Estimated Student Subsidies A rough estimate of grant aid required to assure that a student's full financial need will be met without requiring National Scholars to take out loans or work at non-science related jobs can be derived from data on the economic status of the 1993 SHARP PLUS participants. Based on the federal methodology for calculating student aid eligibility, the approximate expected family contribution to educational costs associated with each income bracket is reported in Table 1. The figures presented in the table reflect the National Scholars Program provision that the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution should be met by grants. These estimates assume that
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THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM: EXCELLENCE WITH DIVERSITY FOR THE FUTURE: PROGRAM DESIGN TABLE 1 Estimated Distribution of National Scholars Grants ------PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS------ ------PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS------ Family Income ($000) Percent of Students (a) Expected Family Contrib. Pell Grant 1995-96 Cost of Attendance (b) Total National Scholars Grants (c) Total Grant Support--all sources (d) 1995-96 Cost of Attendance (b) Institutional Grant Total National Scholars Grants (c) Total Grant Support--all sources (d) <10 16 0 2,300 9,300 7,000 9,300 19,800 7,000 10,500 19,800 10-20 18 0 1,000 9,300 8,300 9,300 19,800 7,000 11,800 19,800 20-30 19 1,000 500 9,300 7,800 8,300 19,800 7,000 11,300 18,800 30-40 7 3,000 0 9,300 6,300 6,300 19,800 7,000 9,800 16,800 40-50 26 6,000 0 9,300 6,000 6,000 19,800 7,000 6,800 13,800 >50 15 12,000 0 9,300 6,000 6,000 19,800 0 6,000 6,000 (a) Income distribution of SHARP PLUS students. (b) The College Entrance Examination Board, 1995. (c) Merit-based and need-based. (d) Includes Pell grant, institutional grant, and National Scholars Grants.
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THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM: EXCELLENCE WITH DIVERSITY FOR THE FUTURE: PROGRAM DESIGN students with incomes below $30,000 will receive Pell Grants, and that students at private institutions in all but the highest income group will receive institutional grants of $7000. Some private colleges and universities can offer significantly higher average grants. In 1995-1996 the average need-based scholarship grant at a private college in the Northeast was $12,000. Our estimate, however, is conservative and recognizes the reality that financial aid budgets are likely to be under increasing strain in the coming years. Low income students are likely to receive larger grants at many institutions. The greater-than-$50,000 income group is assumed to have an average income of about $60,000 and will probably not receive institutional grants, since their need would be considered low enough to be met through loan and work aid. Also, colleges may seek to encourage minorities to enroll by offering a higher ratio of grant versus loan aid than might be available to other students. It is impossible to provide estimates that will be accurate over a wide range of private colleges and universities. Total grant expenditures will depend on the proportion of students attending public institutions and the proportion attending private institutions. If the breakdown is 50/50 for all income groups, we can calculate the average National Scholars grant award at $8,150 in 1995-1996. Using the income distribution and estimated Pell grants, institutional grants, and parental contributions shown in Table 1, the average grant awarded to undergraduate National Scholars can be calculated as follows: .08 (7,000) + .08 (10,500) + .09 (8,300) + .09 (11,800) + .095 (7,800) + .095 (11,300) + .035 (6,300) + .035 (9,800) + .13 (6,000) + . 13 (6,800) + .075 (6,000) + .075 (6,000) = $8,150 Over the last decade, family income has grown about four percent per year while college costs have risen at the rate of about eight percent per year, thus widening the gap between college costs and a family's ability to pay. In recent years tuition increases have slowed to about six percent, and if this pattern continues, the grant levels shown in Table 1 should be increased accordingly. Assuming a six percent inflation rate for college costs, the comparable figure in 2005-2006 would be $14,595 per participant. Changes in assumed rates of increase in colleges costs would clearly have a significant effect on scholarship costs. If inflation were held to four percent per year, the average grant in 2005-2006 would be $12,064. These estimates may be compared with the scholarship awards presently available through other programs. The Meyerhoff Program awards $9,100 to in-state students plus an additional $5,100 for out-of-state students. In 1991, the MARC program awarded freshmen and sophomore students a $4,700 stipend, plus tuition and fees, while juniors and seniors received a $6,700 stipend, plus tuition and fees. In 1994, the NASA Undergraduate Student Researchers Program provided $8,000 per student for tuition, fees, and room and board, plus $4,000 to be used for a summer stipend for the student, travel, and/or mentorship. Graduate Fellowships In Chapter 5 we discussed two approaches to setting a stipend level and cost-of-education allowance for graduate student fellowships. For purposes of estimating fellowship costs, we will propose a level comparable to current levels awarded by other predoctoral fellowship programs. In 1995-1996, NASA 's Graduate Student Researchers
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THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM: EXCELLENCE WITH DIVERSITY FOR THE FUTURE: PROGRAM DESIGN Program awarded a $16,000 student stipend plus an additional $3,000 to defray the costs of tuition, books, and supplies. The institution also received a $3,000 institutional allowance. The NSF Predoctoral Fellowship Program awarded a $14,400 student stipend plus $8,600 institutional cost-of-education allowance in lieu of tuition and fees. The Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellowships offered a student stipend of $14,500 plus a $14,000 cost-of-education allowance. We propose that a fellowship award for a National Scholars Program should total $23,000 in 1995-96 dollars. The National Scholars Program should determine how that sum should be allocated between stipend, cost of education, tuition, or other institutional allowance. Consideration should be given to permitting individual consortiums to propose appropriate amounts as long as they do not exceed $23,000. Also, it may be appropriate to award a larger amount for the dissertation year fellowship, but such an increment is not included in our estimates. PREFRESHMAN SUMMER BRIDGE PROGRAM The total costs of implementing a summer bridge program that includes course work, career exploration activities, field trips, counseling, and social and cultural activities will vary depending on faculty and staff involvement, faculty release time, and institutional cost sharing. Tuition, room and board, and travel must be factored in. Students should not receive a stipend for participating in the program. Cost figures from other summer programs are difficult to interpret because they include a variety of activities and range from 6 to 10 weeks in length. The Committee on Interinstitutional Cooperation estimates that room and board and transportation are about $1,100 for an 8 or 10-week program. The Meyerhoff pre-freshman summer bridge program includes room and board and tuition waivers as well as intensive staff involvement with the 40-plus students. Estimated costs are about $2,000 per student for the summer, excluding staff costs. The direct costs of the summer program for PRISM-D students at Clark Atlanta University are about $1,500 per student. We will use a figure of $2,000 for direct costs of implementing a summer program, exclusive of time spent by permanent National Scholars staff during the summer. DIRECT PROGRAM COSTS The costs of the National Scholars Program at each consortium will vary according to the number of students and program activities. Minimum consortium expenses would include release time for faculty who direct or are assigned other substantial responsibilities in the program and support staff salaries. Additional professional staff might oversee summer research apprenticeships and internships or provide intensive counseling services. Offering a NASA Visiting Scholars seminar series, developing workshops, and employing tutors for study groups are activities which might be supported with program funds. If a consortium undertakes ambitious outreach activities, financial costs will also rise. Some program activities would presumably be funded by other partners. Scholars engaged in summer research programs or internships would normally be paid through research grants, host summer programs, or industrial employers. Travel to scientific meetings may be funded by disciplinary societies. Some institutional cost
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THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM: EXCELLENCE WITH DIVERSITY FOR THE FUTURE: PROGRAM DESIGN sharing in the form of release time, space, and/or support staff would be anticipated. Also, certain benefits of the program would be open or available to all students on campus, thus further complicating cost allocations. The National Scholars Program should permit an assortment of well-conceived consortium activities. Funding would be awarded according to the perceived cost-effectiveness of the proposed elements. We prefer this approach over a single, standard project limit that each consortium would be permitted to use for a prescribed set of activities. While simpler to administer, the effect would be to coax uniformity among consortiums. We seek to encourage creativity and individual initiative in developing a program tailored to each consortium's unique objectives. For example, one consortium might propose an ambitious outreach effort with a school system, or another might choose to cultivate an intensive interchange between two engineering schools. We propose that the average National Scholars grant for academic year consortium activities be $200,000. The National Institutes of Health Bridges to the Future Program, for example, provides $150,000 in funding for each project. We emphasize average because there should be a range of awards depending on the activities supported. This assumes that supplemental funding for scholars' travel, summer research apprenticeships, and internships will be supported from other sources. However, there may be circumstances for which this is neither feasible nor desirable, and, in this event, additional funding through the National Scholars core consortium grant would be appropriate. NATIONAL SCHOLARS COORDINATING COUNCIL A National Scholars Coordinating Council should not be a large organization. Basic council activities should be supported by three to four professional staff and clerical assistance. Cost estimates for the support of the National Scholars Coordinating Council are tentative. Management expenses for an agency such as the National Science Foundation which administers grants might be four to five percent of total program costs. That would indicate about $2 to $2.5 million for support of the council. However, much of the program conceptualization and management will take place at the individual consortium sites. On the other hand, because the council will be responsible for a range of program activities, including technical assistance, maintenance of a national database, and organization of an annual conference, we suggest that annual financial support for the council be on the order of approximately $1.5 million. PHASE-IN OF CONSORTIA The National Scholars Program would implement an initial three consortiums that would serve as pilot programs. Each new consortium would admit college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors as National Scholars. The graduate component of the consortium would participate through the development of faculty linkages, providing summer research experiences for undergraduates and other activities that interact among educational levels. However, doctoral scholars would not be appointed until the third year of a consortium when the first cohort of undergraduate scholars enter graduate study. Two years after the three pilot consortiums
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THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM: EXCELLENCE WITH DIVERSITY FOR THE FUTURE: PROGRAM DESIGN have been established, six new consortiums would be established, with six additional consortiums being implemented in each of the following two years. For the purposes of these estimates, we assume that a total of 21 consortiums will be developed. Costs estimates for the National Scholars Coordinating Council reflect an increasing level of responsibility beginning with planning activities and conferences, developing program guidelines, awarding planning grants, and selecting pilot program consortiums. As more consortiums become established, the council would assume a larger role in facilitating interactions among them, in recruiting national partnerships, and in monitoring and evaluation activities. SUMMARY OF COST ESTIMATES Summarized below are annual estimated total costs (not adjusted for inflation) for the National Scholars Program for the categories described above. The estimates are projected over a 12-year period, including a planning year (Year 1) and continuing until the consortiums reach steady-state, meaning that all consortiums will enroll fifth-year (and presumably graduating) doctoral students. The figures reflect an estimated 21 consortiums enrolling undergraduate scholars and doctoral scholars by year 12. A more detailed description of year-by-year costs is presented in Appendix A. YEAR MILLION $ 1 0.5 2 4.0 3 5.3 4 13.6 5 22.8 6 33.9 7 38.0 8 41.5 9 41.5 10 43.8 11 46.3 12 48.7
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