Government Aid to Private Church-Related Colleges in Iowa and its Relationship to Financing
French, Calvin V.
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The problem. During the past quarter-century, federal and state funds have been made available to private colleges. many of which are church-related. The problem studied was: the historical and legal basis on which governmental funds can be used to aid church-related colleges in light of the doctrine of separation of church and state, the amount of funds received from federal construction loans and grants and from the Iowa Tuition Grant program, and the relationship these funds had to financing in five selected Iowa church-related colleges. Procedure. A review of literature was made regarding the historical and philosophical rationale for government involvement in education including a study of Supreme Court decisions establishing a basis on which public funds could be used to support church-related institutions. Five Iowa church-related colleges were selected from which data were collected through survey sheets, questionnaires, and direct interviews. Data requested included information concerning federal construction loans and grants for physical plant improvement between the years 1951 and 1976 and information regarding direct student aid received as a result of the Iowa Tuition Grant Program. Findings. Historically, both the state and federal governments have been deeply involved in aid to higher education. Guidelines established by the Supreme Court have permitted financial aid to flow to private church-related colleges as well as to the tax supported public institutions. The data indicated the following: 1. Four of the five colleges in this study had elected to participate in federal programs involving construction grants and loans. 2. Between 1951 and 1976, 39 buildings had been constructed, remodeled, or improved with the use of federal funds on four of the five college campuses in the study. 3. Out of a total expenditure of $20,016,455, 70.1 per cent ($14,033,508) came from federal construction grants or loans. 4. All five colleges participated in the Iowa Tuition Grant program. 5. During the eight years since the Iowa Tuition Grant Program was initiated, 10,241 students enrolled in the five selected colleges received Iowa Tuition Grants. 6. Between 1969 and 1976 the five colleges in this study received $10.269,357 from the Iowa Tuition Grant program which amounted to 7.5 per cent of the total operating budgets for the years in question. Conclusions. 1. In spite of the principle of separation of church and state, federal and state financial aid to church-related colleges is permissible if legal guidelines are followed. 2. Physical plants of four of the five colleges in the study were directly benefited by the receipt of federal funds. Physical plant assets increased in net worth by $14,000,000 as a result of federal aid. 3. The Iowa Tuition Grant program supported the five selected private institutions by making available a steadily increasing amount of funds for the operation of the colleges. For the last year in this study, 1976, the totals ranged between 3.4 per cent and 18.0 per cent of the total operating budgets. Recommendations. 1. It is recommended that federal and state assistance to private church-related colleges be continued in some form. 2. Further study should be made that would investigate the advantages of private church-related education and whether the dual system should be preserved. 3. Further study is needed to determine whether the receipt of federal construction grants and loans, with accompanying use restrictions affected the colleges in terms of what was taught and how it was taught. 4. Research is needed to determine if federally financed construction affected student enrollment and college selection.
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