To the Congress of the United States:
No qualified student who wants to go to college should be barred by lack of money. That has long been a great American goal; I propose that we achieve it now.
Something is basically unequal about opportunity for higher education when a young person whose family earns more than $15,000 a year is nine times more likely to attend college than a young person whose family earns less than $3,000.
Something is basically wrong with Federal policy toward higher education when it has failed to correct this inequity, and when government programs spending $5.3 billion yearly have largely been disjointed, ill-directed and without a coherent long-range plan.
Something is wrong with our higher education policy when-on the threshold of a decade in which enrollments will increase almost 50%- not nearly enough attention is focused on the two-year community colleges so important to the careers of so many young people.
Something is wrong with higher education itself when curricula are often irrelevant, structure is often outmoded, when there is an imbalance between teaching and research and too often an indifference to innovation.
To help right these wrongs, and to spur reform and innovation throughout higher education in America today, I am sending to the Congress my proposed Higher Education Opportunity Act of 1970.
In this legislation, I propose that we expand and revamp student aid so that it places more emphasis on helping low-income students than it does today.
Nixon, Richard. 1970. Message From The President Of The United States On Higher Education Opportunities. 91st Cong., 2d sess. House Document 91-282. https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/special-message-the-congress-higher-education-0