Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill To Strengthen the College Work-Study Program.

September 07, 1967

IT IS with great pleasure that I sign the .college work-study amendments--which will improve a novel and far-reaching educational program.

Since 1964, when the first Economic Opportunity Act was passed, this new educational program has helped more than 300,000 students--most of them from poor families-to complete their college education. Next year, more than 200,000 students will earn over $164 million as they work their way through college.

Under this program, needy and deserving college students work part time, on campus and off--in schools, libraries, and hospitals, in State and local government, and other projects. The Federal Government helps underwrite this employment in 1,700 institutions of higher learning, and 2,500 local government and school enterprises.

This act improves the work-study program in two important ways:

First: The new legislation provides that a student employee shall work an average of 15 hours per week each semester--rather than specifically requiring 15 hours of work each week. This allows a student to reduce his time on the job during testing or examination periods, and make up the loss later.

Second: The original act specified that the Federal share in the program--90 percent-would be reduced in one step this year, to 75 percent. The new legislation in order to reduce the financial impact of the reduction on the employers of these students, phases the reduction in three steps: to 85 percent this year, 80 percent in 1968, and 75 percent in 1969.

The student who works to pay for his education does more than help himself financially. He builds resources of character, self-reliance, and independence that make his degree even more valuable to himself and to the country. And every student in the program contributes importantly to his college and his community.

In the past few years, we have embarked on an historic campaign to give every citizen an equal chance in America--regardless of his birth or his race or his financial status. This law is one way of moving that great effort forward. Its influence in America will be a lasting tribute to the 90th Congress.

Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 11945) is Public Law 90-82 (81 Stat. 194), approved September 6, 1967.
The statement was released at San Antonio, Texas.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill To Strengthen the College Work-Study Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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