Financial-Aid Eligibility Linked to Service In Bill Put Forward by Leading Democrat
Washington--Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia last week introduced legislation that would provide federal assistance for college costs only to students who first complete a term of military or civilian service to the nation.
Representative Dave McCurdy was expected to introduce the bill in the House late last week.
The measure is one of a growing number of Congressional proposals calling for creation of a national-service program.
But the plan offered by Mr. Nunn and Mr. McCurdy, two prominent members of the Democratic Party's moderate wing, seems likely to be considerably more controversial than most of the proposals. Unlike the others, their bill would make participation in the national-service effort a condition of eligibility for federal student aid.
Under the legislation, students could get assistance only if they first completed a minimum of one year of community service or two years in the military. For each year of civilian service, participants would receive $10,000, while a two-year military enlistment would yield $24,000. The money would have to be used for college or job-training costs or for a down payment on the purchase of a home.
The bill would create some exceptions, under which students could receive aid if their personal circumstances made fulfillment of the national-service requirement unusually difficult.
Federally guaranteed student loans would continue to be available, but only to veterans of national service.