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Higher education in the Golden State stands "on the brink of disaster,'' a report by the California Higher Education Policy Center concludes.

The report, written by two former Los Angeles Times reporters, Jack McCurdy and William Trombley, asserts that while higher-education officials have at times overstated the magnitude of budget cuts, students are generally paying more and getting less for their money.

The quality of education at California's public colleges and universities has declined, Mr. McCurdy and Mr. Trombley charge, as a result of faculty reductions, increases in class sizes, elimination of courses, and decreased library funds, among other cutbacks brought on by California's ongoing fiscal crisis.

Copies of the report are available for free from the California Higher Education Policy Center, 160 West Santa Clara St., Suite 704, San Jose, Calif. 95113; (408) 287-6601.


The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation has announced it will award $35.7 million to create community-service-based scholarships at seven Midwestern and Southeastern college and universities.

The four-year scholarships will be awarded to between 80 and 100 financially needy students at each institution who have been "active citizens'' and "responsible family members'' at home.

Recipients will perform at least 10 hours of community service a week during the academic year, primarily in tutoring and mentoring programs. The students will also participate in a summer-service internship.

The seven postsecondary institutions that will receive funding from the Princeton, N.J.-based foundation are: Berry College in Rome, Ga.; Concord College in Athens, W.Va.; Davidson College in Davidson, N.C.; DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.; Emory and Henry College in Emory, Va.; Spelman College in Atlanta; and the University of Richmond in Virginia.


In addition to tuning in to the typical array of movies, concerts, and sports events, students can now use pay-per-view television to prepare for the S.A.T.

Both Viewer's Choice and Request Television will air the Princeton Review S.A.T. prep course, "Student Admissions Television,'' between Oct. 3 and Nov. 4 this fall. The 90-minute program costs $14.95 per viewing.

In contrast to the one-time television show, a typical six- to eight-week Princeton Review course costs about $700.

For more information, contact Myrna Baron at the Baron Company at (212) 874-8282.--M.S.

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