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EDUCATOR SAYS CLINTON NATIONAL SERVICE PROGRAM COULD PROVIDE OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS AS A COMPLEMENT TO CURRENT LOAN SYSTEM

 WASHINGTON, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- President Clinton's National Service Program could provide a valuable option for students and open the door to a college degree for less affluent Americans, Student Loan Funding Corporation Chairman Sherrill Cleland said today. Commenting on President Clinton's education remarks today at New Jersey's Rutgers University, Cleland said, "The president's commitment to educational opportunity via community service will raise the aspirations of Americans who lack the money to go to college."
 Cleland said a national service program, such as the one outlined by the president, could be a powerful complement to the existing college loan program and deserves serious consideration by Congress.
 "A national service program could be a double winner for America. First, by helping millions of Americans get the quality education they need to help our country compete in a challenging world economy, and second, by providing a corps of talented and highly motivated Americans to serve their country," Cleland said.
 "The public sector/private sector partnership is the best possible delivery mechanism for national service and can enable the creation of national service this year," Cleland said. "In this time of soaring budget deficits, I agree with the president's approach of testing the concept thoroughly via a pilot program before making a full commitment to the concept."
 Cleland also said "direct lending" by the government to colleges, another widely discussed student loan reform measure, should also be tested before being fully implemented. He noted that a recent Congressional Research Service study questioned whether the government could properly manage such a system and warned that direct lending could add to the federal debt.
 "We must make sure that federal education programs are implemented in the most efficient and cost-effective fashion. The private sector has proven its ability to provide student loans effectively," Cleland said.
 Cleland, chairman of the Cincinnati-based, non-profit Student Loan Funding Corporation, was president of Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, from 1973-1989. He also served as a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's Cincinnati branch from 1982- 1987. The Student Loan Funding Corporation has helped more than 221,000 students attend college since it began operation in 1983.
 -0- 3/1/93
 /CONTACT: Sherrill Cleland of the Student Loan Funding Corporation, 202-289-3910 or 703-532-2126/


CO: Student Loan Funding Corporation ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN SU:

DC -- DC021 -- 1486 03/01/93 14:01 EST
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Date:Mar 1, 1993
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