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Private giving to colleges and universities increased by $875 million to $9.8 billion during the 1989-90 academic year, a 10 percent increase over the previous year, according to the Council for Aid to Education.

Adjusted for inflation, however, the increase was just 5 percent over 1988-89's figure of $8.9 billion, the council said. That figure was itself a 9 percent increase over the previous academic year's, when giving fell by 3.5 percent, the council said.

About 97 percent of all giving in 1989-90 went to four-year schools, the rest going to two-year schools, the council said.

College-going men receive greater overall aid packages than do women, according to a study by the American Association of University Women.

In 1990, the average total aid package--including both grants and loans from state, federal, and institutional sources--for men was $3,843, the aauw said. For women, the average package was $3,605, a difference of 6 percent, the study said.

The gender gap in federal aid has dropped from 9 percent to 8 percent since 1987, when men and women receiving Pell grants, Perkins loans, and work-study funds received virtually the same amount of money, the association said.

Between 1987 and 1990, however, the gap increased from 7 percent to 22 percent in the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, the report said.

Representative Jim Ramstad, Republican of Minnesota, last week introduced a bill calling on college officials to assist sexual-assault victims in exercising their rights on campus, in campus housing, and in the courtroom.

Among other things, HR 2368, the "campus sexual assault victims' bill of rights," guarantees victims the right to representation at campus disciplinary proceedings against the accused, and to be informed of the outcome of such proceedings; the right to be free of pressure from campus authorities to not report crimes or to report lesser offenses; and the right to move from housing if sexually intimidating events occur.

The measure builds on last year's campus-crime bill, which requires colleges and universities to make available information on violent campus crime.

The Education Department's toll-free financial-aid line has a new number. The number now is 1 (800) 4-FED-AID, and it is available from 9 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., Eastern time. Hearing-impaired callers may use TDD (301) 369-0518.

Students can receive information on how to complete a financial-aid application, who is eligible, how awards are delivered, and what schools participate in aid programs.--mp

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