Students at some public colleges and universities are receiving an unusual and unexpected communication from their bursar's office: a bill for a midyear tuition increase.
Public institutions in California, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Virginia have been forced to impose the added fees in most cases because of new cuts in their state appropriations for the current year.
The fee increases averaged about $100.
The University of Tennessee, which rented a few acres to the neighboring World's Fair in Knoxville last summer, earned a bonus in return.
When the fair's officials came up short of the $100,000 they owed the school, they asked if they could settle in kind, handing over one building on the rented property and two temporary pavilions on the fairgrounds that had housed exhibits. The university will use the permanent structure on its own grounds as an anthropology building and will tear down the pavilions and sell their components for in excess of $100,000.
Jerry Falwell, the evangelist who heads the Moral Majority, has been chastised by the president of Baylor University for meddling in matters that were none of his business when he suggested that Southern Baptists should abandon their colleges and universities in favor of more conservative institutions.
Mr. Falwell said in an interview in a Texas newspaper that Southern Baptist colleges were too liberal. "The best thing two-thirds of the pastors of Baptist churches who believe in the Bible can do is disassociate themselves from the schools and hand them over to the trustees," the evangelist said.
"Highly meddlesome and presumptuous" is what Herbert H. Reynolds, Baylor's president, called the statements. A Southern Baptist institution for 138 years, Mr. Reynolds said, Baylor doesn't "need any help from Mr. Falwell."
Somewhat surprisingly, private four-year colleges are reporting gains in applications averaging 10 percent over last year's totals at this time, according to a recent Chronicle of Higher Education Survey.
At the same time, public colleges and universities--whose enrollments grew slightly on the average last year--are reporting fewer applications s freshman class than last year at this point, the survey found. And despite the gains in freshman applications among private four-year colleges, 62 percent of the private universities surveyed report they have fewer applicants to date than last year.
Last fall, private colleges and universities reported an average drop of 3.8 percent from the previous fall's enrollment.
Overall, about 48 percent of the private institutions and 51 percent of the public institutions are reporting decreases.
Saying that processing costs are becoming too burdensome, some col-leges have begun charging students fees to handle their federal Guaranteed Student Loans.
The University of California, whose officials estimate it costs them $90,000 annually to process the loans, charges each student $15. The University of Colorado charges $10, as do the eight colleges and universities in Oregon's state system. The University of Minnesota initiated a similar $10 fee last summer, but stopped collecting it after a state education board said it violated current board policy.
Students oppose the new fees because they already pay two others: one a fee to state loan-guarantee agencies, the other a 5-percent fee to the federal government to help defray the cost of the program.
Over 60 percent of the black athletes who now attend universities in the Big Eight Conference would have been ineligible to play during their freshman year if the athletic-eligibility rules passed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association last month had been in effect.
According to an analysis prepared by the sports conference, 10-to-27 percent of white athletes would have been barred.
The rule, which will go into effect in 1986, will require freshman athletes at Division I universities--the nation's largest--to have earned a minimum score on standardized admissions tests and a minimum high-school grade average before being eligible for intercollegiate athletics. The rule has been sharply criticized by white as well as black educators.
"I don't think people paid enough attention to the effect the rule would have when they passed it," said Barbara Uehling, chancellor of the University of Missouri at Columbia, which reported that 37 percent of its black athletes would have been disqualified. "I don't think they intended to discriminate, but the rule has that effect and should be modified."
Standard Oil Company of Ohio has announced it will make a $10-million investment in academic research in science and technology.
Over the next five years, the company will make between 5 and 10 awards of up to $2.5 million each for collaborative research projects between its own and university scientists in the physical and natural sciences, data processing, and other fields. The oil company and the universities will share any results of the joint projects.
Bradford College, a private liberal-arts institution north of Boston, is reaching out to a particularly needy group of students--the children of the unemployed. It will award at least five full scholarships to such applicants and will waive application fees for all those who apply for the program.
In announcing the gesture, Bradford's president, Arthur Levine, said: "The nation must not turn its back on the more than 200,000 young people with unemployed parents who will graduate in June."
Further information may be obtained from the Director of Admissions, Bradford College, Bradford, Mass. 01830.--mm