JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
Section 901(a) of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Pub. L. 92-318, 86 Stat. 373, 20 U. S. C. § 1681(a), prohibits sex discrimination in "any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,"
This case presents several questions concerning the scope and operation of these provisions and the regulations established by the Department of Education. We must decide, first, whether Title IX applies at all to Grove City College, which accepts no direct assistance but enrolls students who receive federal grants that must be used for educational purposes. If so, we must identify the "education program or activity" at Grove City that is "receiving Federal financial assistance" and determine whether federal assistance to that
Petitioner Grove City College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college that has sought to preserve its institutional autonomy by consistently refusing state and federal financial assistance. Grove City's desire to avoid federal oversight has led it to decline to participate, not only in direct institutional aid programs, but also in federal student assistance programs under which the College would be required to assess students' eligibility and to determine the amounts of loans, work-study funds, or grants they should receive.
When Grove City persisted in refusing to execute an Assurance, the Department initiated proceedings to declare the College and its students ineligible to receive BEOG's.
Grove City and four of its students then commenced this action in the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, which concluded that the students' BEOG's constituted "Federal financial assistance" to Grove City but held, on several grounds, that the Department could not terminate the students' aid because of the College's refusal to execute an Assurance of Compliance. Grove City College v. Harris, 500 F.Supp. 253 (1980).
In defending its refusal to execute the Assurance of Compliance required by the Department's regulations, Grove City first contends that neither it nor any "education program or activity" of the College receives any federal financial assistance within the meaning of Title IX by virtue of the fact that some of its students receive BEOG's and use them to pay for their education. We disagree.
Grove City provides a well-rounded liberal arts education and a variety of educational programs and student services. The question is whether any of those programs or activities "receiv[es] Federal financial assistance" within the meaning of Title IX when students finance their education with BEOG's. The structure of the Education Amendments of 1972, in which Congress both created the BEOG program and imposed Title IX's nondiscrimination requirement, strongly suggests an affirmative conclusion. BEOG's were aptly characterized as a "centerpiece of the bill," 118 Cong. Rec. 20297 (1972) (Rep. Pucinski), and Title IX "relate[d] directly to [its] central purpose." 117 Cong. Rec. 30412 (1971) (Sen. Bayh). In view of this connection and Congress' express recognition of discrimination in the administration of student financial aid programs,
Congress' awareness of the purpose and effect of its student aid programs also is reflected in the sparse legislative history of Title IX itself. Title IX was patterned after Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 252, 42 U. S. C. § 2000d et seq. (1976 ed. and Supp. V). Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677, 684-685 (1979); 118 Cong. Rec. 5807 (1972) (Sen. Bayh). The drafters of Title VI envisioned that the receipt of student aid funds would trigger coverage,
The few contemporaneous statements that attempted to give content to the phrase "receiving Federal financial assistance," while admittedly somewhat ambiguous, are consistent with Senator Bayh's declaration that Title IX authorizes the
Persuasive evidence of Congress' intent concerning student financial aid may also be gleaned from its subsequent treatment of Title IX. We have twice recognized the probative value of Title IX's unique postenactment history, North Haven Board of Education v. Bell, supra, at 535; Cannon v. University of Chicago, supra, at 687, n. 7, 702-703, and we
An analysis of Title IX's language and legislative history led us to conclude in North Haven Board of Education v. Bell, 456 U. S., at 538, that "an agency's authority under Title IX both to promulgate regulations and to terminate funds is subject to the program-specific limitations of §§ 901 and 902." Although the legislative history contains isolated suggestions that entire institutions are subject to the nondiscrimination
If Grove City participated in the BEOG program through the RDS, we would have no doubt that the "education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance" would not be the entire College; rather, it would be its student financial aid program.
We see no reason to reach a different conclusion merely because Grove City has elected to participate in the ADS. Although Grove City does not itself disburse students' awards, BEOG's clearly augment the resources that the College itself
To the extent that the Court of Appeals' holding that BEOG's received by Grove City's students constitute aid to the entire institution rests on the possibility that federal funds received by one program or activity free up the College's own resources for use elsewhere, the Court of Appeals' reasoning is doubly flawed. First, there is no evidence that the federal aid received by Grove City's students results in the diversion of funds from the College's own financial aid program to other areas within the institution.
The Court of Appeals' analogy between student financial aid received by an educational institution and nonearmarked direct grants provides a more plausible justification for its holding, but it too is faulty. Student financial aid programs, we believe, are sui generis. In neither purpose nor effect can BEOG's be fairly characterized as unrestricted grants that institutions may use for whatever purpose they desire. The BEOG program was designed, not merely to increase the total resources available to educational institutions, but to enable them to offer their services to students who had previously been unable to afford higher education. It is true, of course, that substantial portions of the BEOG's received by Grove City's students ultimately find their way into the College's general operating budget and are used to provide a variety of services to the students through whom the funds pass. However, we have found no persuasive evidence suggesting that Congress intended that the Department's regulatory authority follow federally aided students from classroom to classroom, building to building, or activity to activity. In addition, as Congress recognized in considering the Education Amendments of 1972, the economic effect of student aid is far different from the effect of nonearmarked grants to institutions themselves since the former, unlike the latter, increases both an institution's resources and its obligations. See Pub. L. 92-318, § 1001(a), 86 Stat. 375, 20 U. S. C. § 1070e; S. Rep. No. 92-346, p. 43 (1971); 118 Cong. Rec. 20331 (1972) (Rep. Badillo). In that sense, student financial aid more closely resembles many earmarked grants.
We conclude that the receipt of BEOG's by some of Grove City's students does not trigger institutionwide coverage under Title IX. In purpose and effect, BEOG's represent
Since Grove City operates an "education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance," the Department may properly demand that the College execute an Assurance of Compliance with Title IX. 34 CFR § 106.4 (1983). Grove City contends, however, that the Assurance it was requested to sign was invalid, both on its face and as interpreted by the Department, in that it failed to comport with Title IX's program-specific character. Whatever merit that objection might have had at the time, it is not now a valid basis for refusing to execute an Assurance of Compliance.
The Assurance of Compliance regulation itself does not, on its face, impose institutionwide obligations. Recipients must provide assurance only that "each education program or activity operated by . . . [them] and to which this part applies will be operated in compliance with this part." 34 CFR § 106.4 (1983) (emphasis added). The regulations apply, by their terms, "to every recipient and to each education program or activity operated by such recipient which receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance." 34 CFR § 106.11 (1983) (emphasis added). These regulations, like those at issue in North Haven Board of Education v. Bell, 456 U.S. 512 (1982), "conform with the limitations Congress enacted in §§ 901 and 902." Id., at 539. Nor does the Department now claim that its regulations reach beyond the College's student aid program. Furthermore, the Assurance of Compliance currently in use, like the one Grove City refused to execute, does not on its face purport to reach the entire College; it certifies compliance with respect to those "education programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance." See n. 2, supra. Under this opinion, consistent with the program-specific requirements of Title IX,
A refusal to execute a proper program-specific Assurance of Compliance warrants termination of federal assistance to the student financial aid program. The College's contention that termination must be preceded by a finding of actual discrimination finds no support in the language of § 902, which plainly authorizes that sanction to effect "[c]ompliance with any requirement adopted pursuant to this section." Regulations authorizing termination of assistance for refusal to execute an Assurance of Compliance with Title VI had been promulgated, 45 CFR § 80.4 (Supp., Jan. 1, 1965), and upheld, Gardner v. Alabama, 385 F.2d 804 (CA5 1967), cert. denied, 389 U.S. 1046 (1968), long before Title IX was enacted, and Congress no doubt anticipated that similar regulations would be developed to implement Title IX. 118 Cong. Rec. 5807 (1972) (Sen. Bayh). We conclude, therefore, that the Department may properly condition federal financial assistance on the recipient's assurance that it will conduct the aided program or activity in accordance with Title IX and the applicable regulations.
Grove City's final challenge to the Court of Appeals' decision — that conditioning federal assistance on compliance with Title IX infringes First Amendment rights of the College and its students — warrants only brief consideration. Congress is free to attach reasonable and unambiguous conditions to federal financial assistance that educational institutions are not obligated to accept. E. g., Pennhurst State School and Hospital v. Halderman, 451 U.S. 1, 17 (1981). Grove City may terminate its participation in the BEOG program and thus avoid the requirements of § 901(a). Students affected by the Department's action may either take their BEOG's elsewhere or attend Grove City without federal financial assistance. Requiring Grove City to comply with Title IX's
Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is
Affirmed. no longer applies to schools whose students receive only BEOG's.
JUSTICE POWELL, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and JUSTICE O'CONNOR join, concurring.
As I agree that the holding in this case is dictated by the language and legislative history of Title IX, and the regulations of the Department of Education, I join the Court's decision. I do so reluctantly and write briefly to record my view that the case is an unedifying example of overzealousness on the part of the Federal Government.
Grove City College (Grove City) may be unique among colleges in our country; certainly there are few others like it. Founded more than a century ago in 1876, Grove City is an independent, coeducational liberal arts college. It describes itself as having "both a Christian world view and a freedom philosophy," perceiving these as "interrelated." App. A-22. At the time of this suit, it had about 2,200 students and tuition was surprisingly low for a private college.
This case involves a regulation adopted by the Department to implement § 901 (a) of Title IX (20 U. S. C. § 1681(a)). It is well to bear in mind what § 901(a) provides:
The sole purpose of the statute is to make unlawful "discrimination" by recipients of federal financial assistance on the "basis of sex." The undisputed fact is that Grove City does not discriminate — and so far as the record in this case shows — never has discriminated against anyone on account of sex, race, or national origin. This case has nothing whatever to do with discrimination past or present. The College therefore has complied to the letter with the sole purpose of § 901(a).
As the Court describes, the case arises pursuant to a regulation adopted under Title IX that authorizes the Secretary to obtain from recipients of federal aid an "Assurance of Compliance" with Title IX and regulations issued thereunder. At the outset of this litigation, the Department insisted that by accepting students who received BEOG awards, Grove City's entire institution was subject to regulation under Title IX. The College, in view of its policies and principles of independence and its record of nondiscrimination, objected to executing this Assurance. One would have thought that the Department, confronted as it is with cases of national importance that involve actual discrimination, would have respected the independence and admirable record of this College. But common sense and good judgment failed to prevail.
On the basis of the evidence, which included the formal published statement of Grove City's strong "nondiscrimination policy," he stated:
The Administrative Law Judge further evidenced his reluctance by emphasizing that the regulations were "binding" upon him. Id., at A-95. He concluded that the scholarship grants and student loans to Grove City constituted indirect "federal financial assistance," and in view of the failure of Grove City to execute the Assurance, the regulation required that the grants and loans to its students must be "terminated." Id., at A-96. The College and four of its students then instituted this suit in 1978 challenging the validity of the regulations and seeking a declaratory judgment.
The effect of the Department's termination of the student grants and loans would not have been limited to the College itself. Indeed, the most direct effect would have been upon the students themselves. Absent the availability of other scholarship funds, many of them would have had to abandon their college education or choose another school. It was to
JUSTICE STEVENS, concurring in part and concurring in the result.
For two reasons, I am unable to join Part III of the Court's opinion. First, it is an advisory opinion unnecessary to today's decision, and second, the advice is predicated on speculation rather than evidence.
The controverted issue in this litigation is whether Grove City College may be required to execute the "Assurance of Compliance with Title IX" tendered to it by the Secretary in order to continue receiving the benefits of the federal financial assistance provided by the BEOG program. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's decision that Grove City is a "recipient" of federal financial assistance, and reversed its decision that the Secretary could not terminate federal financial assistance because Grove City refused to execute the Assurance. The Court today holds (in Part II of its opinion) that Grove City is a recipient of federal financial assistance within the meaning of Title IX, and (in Part IV) that Grove City must execute the Assurance of Compliance in order to continue receiving that assistance. These holdings are fully sufficient to sustain the judgment the Court reviews, as the Court acknowledges by affirming that judgment.
In Part III of its opinion, the Court holds that Grove City is not required to refrain from discrimination on the basis of
Moreover, the record in this case is far from adequate to decide the question raised in Part III. See Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Darrone, post, at 635-636. Assuming for the moment that participation in the BEOG program could not in itself make Title IX applicable to the entire institution, a factual inquiry is nevertheless necessary as to which of Grove City's programs and activities can be said to receive or benefit from federal financial assistance. This is the import of the applicable regulation, upheld by the Court today, ante, at 574-575, which states that Title IX applies "to every recipient and to each education program or activity operated by such recipient which receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance." 34 CFR § 106.11 (1983). The Court overlooks the fact that the regulation is in the disjunctive; Title IX coverage does not always depend on the actual receipt of federal financial assistance by a given program or activity. The record does not tell us how important the BEOG program
Accordingly, while I subscribe to the reasoning in Parts I, II, IV, and V of the Court's opinion, I am unable to join Part III.
The Court today concludes that Grove City College is "receiving Federal financial assistance" within the meaning of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U. S. C.
The Court has twice before had occasion to ascertain the precise scope of Title IX. See North Haven Board of Education v. Bell, 456 U.S. 512 (1982); Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677 (1979). In both cases, the Court emphasized the broad congressional purposes underlying enactment of the statute. In Cannon, while holding that Title IX confers a private cause of action on individual plaintiffs, we noted that the primary congressional purpose behind the statute was "to avoid the use of federal resources to support discriminatory practices," and that this purpose "is generally
When reaching that question today,
The statute that was eventually enacted as Title IX had its genesis in separate proposals considered by the House and the Senate, in 1970 and 1971, respectively. In the House, the Special Subcommittee on Education, under the leadership of Representative Edith Green, held extensive hearings during the summer of 1970 on "Discrimination Against
In the Senate, action began on Title IX in 1971, when Senator Bayh first introduced a floor amendment to the comprehensive education legislation then being considered. Amendment No. 398 to Higher Education Act of 1971, reprinted in 117 Cong. Rec. 30156 (1971). As then written, Senator Bayh's proposal was clearly intended to cover an entire institution whenever any education program or activity conducted by that institution was receiving federal moneys. In particular, the amendment expressly prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex "under any program or activity conducted by a public institution of higher education, or any school or department of graduate education, which is a recipient of Federal financial assistance for any education program or activity." As explained by its sponsor, the amendment would have prohibited sex discrimination "by any public institution of higher education or any institution of graduate education receiving Federal educational financial assistance." Id., at 30157.
The 1971 amendment was eventually ruled nongermane, id., at 30415, so Senator Bayh was forced to renew his efforts during the next session. When reintroduced, the amendment had been modified to conform in substantial part with the version of Title IX that had been passed by the House. See 118 Cong. Rec. 5803 (1972). This change was apparently made to ensure adoption of the antidiscrimination provisions by the Conference Committee that would soon
In sum, although the contemporaneous legislative history does not definitively explain the intended meaning of the program-specific language included in Title IX, it lends no support to the interpretation adopted by the Court. What is clear, moreover, is that Congress intended enforcement of Title IX to mirror the policies and procedures utilized for enforcement under Title VI.
"Title IX was patterned after Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." Cannon, 441 U. S., at 694. Except for the substitution of the word "sex" in Title IX to replace the words "race, color, or national origin" in Title VI, and for the limitation of Title IX to "education" programs or activities, the two statutes use identical language to describe their scope. The interpretation of this critical language as it already existed under Title VI is therefore crucial to an understanding of congressional intent in 1972 when Title IX was enacted using the same language.
The voluminous legislative history of Title VI is not easy to comprehend, especially when one considers the emotionally and politically charged atmosphere operating at the time of its enactment. And there are no authoritative committee reports
Without completely canvassing several volumes of the Congressional Record, I believe it is safe to say that, by including the programmatic language in Title VI, Congress sought to allay fears on the part of many legislators that one isolated violation of the statute's antidiscrimination provisions would result in the wholesale termination of federal funds. In particular, "Congress was primarily concerned with two facets of the termination power: the possibility that noncompliance in a single school district might lead to termination of funds to the entire state; and the possibility that discrimination in the education program might result in the termination of federal assistance to unrelated federally financed programs, such as highways." Comment, 118 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1113, 1119-1120 (1970) (footnotes omitted). See id., at 1116-1124. See also 687 F.2d 684, 697-698 (CA3 1982).
But even accepting that there is some uncertainty concerning the 1964 understanding of "program or activity," we need not be overly concerned with whatever doubt surrounds the precise intent, if any, of the 88th Congress. For what is crucial in ascertaining the meaning of the program-specific language
The Title VI regulations first issued by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare during the 1960's, and remaining in effect during 1972, could not have been clearer in the way they applied to educational institutions. See generally 45 CFR pt. 80 (1972). For example, § 80.4(d) explained the assurances required from, among others, institutions of higher education that received federal financial assistance:
A list of illustrative applications followed that further demonstrated the broad scope of these regulations. One of the illustrations was aimed particularly at institutions of higher education:
Nor were there any outstanding court decisions in 1972 that would have led Congress to believe that Title VI was much narrower in scope. The principal judicial interpretations of Title VI prior to 1972 were announced by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In a school desegregation case, for example, the court expressly approved the Department's desegregation guidelines, while noting the broad purposes underlying the prohibitory section of Title VI. United States v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 372 F.2d 836, 881-882 (CA5 1966), adopted en banc, 380 F.2d 385 (CA5 1967) (per curiam) (" `The legality is based on the general power of Congress to apply reasonable conditions. . . . In general, it seems rather anomalous that the Federal Government should aid and abet discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin by granting money and other kinds of financial aid' ") (quoting Cong. Celler). In another desegregation case, the court noted that Title VI "states a reasonable condition that the United States may attach to any grant of financial assistance and may enforce by refusal or withdrawal of federal assistance." Bossier Parish School Board v. Lemon, 370 F.2d 847, 852 (CA5 1967). More significantly, the court went on to equate a local school system with a "program or activity" receiving federal aid, noting that the "School Board accepted federal financial assistance in November 1964, and thereby brought its school system within the class of programs subject to the section 601 prohibition against discrimination." Ibid.
Finally, in Board of Public Instruction v. Finch, 414 F.2d 1068 (CA5 1969), the court spoke more directly to the
In short, the judicial interpretations of Title VI existing in 1972 were either in agreement with the expansive reach of the Department's regulations, Bossier Parish, supra; Jefferson County, supra, or sanctioned a broad-based termination of federal aid if the funded programs were affected by discriminatory practices, Finch, supra. See also Note, 55 Geo. L. J. 325, 344-345 (1966) (supporting Department's treatment of a school district as an individual program). Cf. Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563, 568 (1974) (treating an entire school system or school district as an "educational program" under Title VI). Like the existing administrative regulations, therefore, they provide strong support for the view that Congress intended an expansive interpretation of the program-specific language included in Title IX. Because Members of Congress "repeated[ly] refer[red] to Title VI and
If any doubt remains about the congressional intent underlying the program-specific language included in Title IX, it is removed by the unique postenactment history of the statute. "Although postenactment developments cannot be accorded `the weight of contemporary legislative history, we would be remiss if we ignored these authoritative expressions concerning the scope and purpose of Title IX. . . .' " North Haven, 456 U. S., at 535 (quoting Cannon, supra, at 687, n. 7). See also ante, at 567-568.
Regulations promulgated by the Department to implement Title IX, both as proposed, 39 Fed. Reg. 22228 (1974), and as finally adopted, 40 Fed. Reg. 24128 (1975), included an interpretation of program specificity consistent with the view of Title VI and with the congressional intent behind Title IX outlined above. In particular, the regulations prohibited sex discrimination "under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by a recipient which receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance." Id., at 24140 (now codified at 34 CFR § 106.31 (1983)). Introductory remarks explained the basis for the agency's decision:
Thus, the agency charged with the statute's implementation initially interpreted the program-specific language of Title IX in a manner consistent with the view of Congress' intent outlined above — to allow for application of the statute to an entire institution if the institution is comprised of education programs or activities that receive or benefit from federal moneys.
Moreover, pursuant to § 431(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended by Pub. L. 93-380, 88 Stat. 567, these regulations were submitted to Congress for review. As we explained in North Haven, supra, at 531-532 (quoting 20 U. S. C. § 1232(d)(1)), this "laying before" procedure afforded Congress an opportunity to disapprove any regulation that it found to be "inconsistent with the Act from which it derives its authority." And although the regulations interpreting the program-specific limitations of Title IX were explicitly considered by both Houses of Congress, no resolutions of disapproval were passed by the Legislature.
In particular, two resolutions to invalidate the Department's regulations were proposed in the Senate, each specifically challenging the regulations because of the program-specificity
In the House, extensive hearings were held by two separate Subcommittees of the Committee on Education and Labor. Of primary interest are the six days of hearings held by the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education to review the Department's regulations "solely to see if they are consistent with the law and with the intent of the Congress in enacting the law." See Sex Discrimination Regulations: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the House Committee on Education and Labor, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., 1 (1975) (1975 Hearings) (remarks of Rep. O'Hara). Among the numerous witnesses testifying about the programmatic reach of the Department's regulations were Senator Bayh, the chief Senate sponsor of the legislation, see supra, at 585-586, and HEW Secretary Weinberger. Both strongly supported the scope of the regulations as consistent with the intent evidenced by the 92d Congress in 1972. See, e. g., 1975 Hearings, at 169-171 (statement of Sen. Bayh); id., at 178 (testimony of Sen. Bayh); id., at 438, 485 (testimony of Secretary Weinberger); id., at 487-488 (letter from Secretary Weinberger).
Then, in a subsequent letter submitted to the Subcommittee, Secretary Weinberger addressed the precise issue posed by Grove City College in this case:
Although the failure of Congress to disapprove the Department's regulations is not itself determinative, it does "len[d] weight to the argument" that the regulations were consistent with congressional intent. North Haven, 456 U. S., at 534. Moreover, "the relatively insubstantial interest given the resolutions of disapproval that were introduced seems particularly significant since Congress has proceeded to amend [Title IX] when it has disagreed with [the Department's] interpretation
A proper application of Title IX to the circumstances of this case demonstrates beyond peradventure that the Court has unjustifiably limited the statute's reach. Grove City College enrolls approximately 140 students who utilize Basic Educational Opportunity Grants (BEOG's) to pay for their education at the College. Although the grant moneys are paid directly to the students, the Court properly concludes that the use of these federal moneys at the College means that the College "receives Federal financial assistance" within the meaning of Title IX. The Court also correctly notes that a principal purpose underlying congressional enactment of the BEOG program is to provide funds that will benefit colleges and universities as a whole. It necessarily follows, in my view, that the entire undergraduate institution operated by Grove City College is subject to the antidiscrimination provisions included in Title IX.
In determining the scope of Title IX coverage, the primary focus should be on the purposes meant to be served by the
In many respects, therefore, Congress views financial aid to students, and in particular BEOG's, as the functional equivalent of general aid to institutions. Given this undeniable and clearly stated congressional purpose, it would seem to be self-evident that Congress intended colleges or universities enrolling students who receive BEOG's to be covered, in their entirety, by the antidiscrimination provisions of Title IX. That statute's primary purpose, after all, is to ensure
Under the Court's holding, in contrast, Grove City College is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sex in its own "financial aid program," but is free to discriminate in other "programs or activities" operated by the institution. Underlying this result is the unstated and unsupportable assumption that moneys received through BEOG's are meant only to be utilized by the College's financial aid program. But it is undisputed that BEOG moneys, paid to the institution as tuition and fees and used in the general operating budget, are utilized to support most, and perhaps all, of the facilities and services that together constitute Grove City College.
The absurdity of the Court's decision is further demonstrated by examining its practical effect. According to the Court, the "financial aid program" at Grove City College may not discriminate on the basis of sex because it is covered by Title IX, but the College is not prohibited from discriminating in its admissions, its athletic programs, or even its various academic departments. The Court thus sanctions practices that Congress clearly could not have intended: for example, after today's decision, Grove City College would be free to segregate male and female students in classes run by its mathematics department. This would be so even though
The Court, moreover, does not offer any defensible justification for its holding. First, the Court states that it has "no doubt" that BEOG's administered through the Regular Disbursement System (RDS) are received, not by the entire College, but by its financial aid program. Thus, the Court reasons, BEOG's administered through the Alternative Disbursement System must also be received only by the financial aid program. The premise of this syllogism, however, simply begs the question presented; until today's decision, there was considerable doubt concerning the reach of Title IX in a college or university administering BEOG's through the RDS. Indeed, the extent to which Title IX covers an educational institution receiving BEOG's is the same regardless of the procedural mechanism chosen by the college to disburse the student aid. With this argument, therefore, the Court is simply restating the question presented by the case.
Second, the Court rejects the notion that the federal funds disbursed under the BEOG program are received by the entire institution because they effectively "free up" the College's own resources for use by all programs or activities that are operated by Grove City College. But coverage of an entire institution that receives BEOG's through its students is not dependent upon such a theory. Instead, Title IX coverage for the whole undergraduate institution at Grove City College is premised on the congressional intent that BEOG moneys would provide aid for the college or university as a whole. Therefore, whatever merit the Court's argument may have for federal moneys that are intended solely to benefit a particular aspect of an educational institution, such as
Third, the Court contradicts its earlier recognition that BEOG's are no different from general aid to a college or university by claiming that "[s]tudent financial aid programs . . . are sui generis." Ante, at 573. Although this assertion serves to limit severely the effect of the Court's holding, it is wholly unexplained, especially in light of the forceful evidence of congressional intent to the contrary. Indeed, it would be more accurate to say that financial aid for students is the prototypical method for funneling federal aid to institutions of higher education.
Finally, although not explicitly offered as a rationale, the Court's holding might be explained by its willingness to defer to the Government's position as it has been represented to this Court. But until the Government filed its briefs in this case, it had consistently argued that Title IX coverage for the entire undergraduate institution operated by Grove City College was authorized by the statute. See ante, at 562, n. 10, 570. The latest position adopted by the Government, irrespective of the motivations that might underlie this recent change, is therefore entitled to little, if any, deference. Cf. North Haven, 456 U. S., at 522-523, n. 12, 538-539, n. 29 (deference not appropriate when "there is no consistent administrative interpretation of the Title IX regulations"). The interpretation of statutes as important as Title IX should not be subjected so easily to shifts in policy by the executive branch.
In sum, the program-specific language in Title IX was designed to ensure that the reach of the statute is dependent upon the scope of federal financial assistance provided to an institution. When that financial assistance is clearly
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . ."
Nine statutory exemptions, none of which is relevant to the disposition of this case, follow. See §§ 901(a)(1)-(9), 20 U. S. C. §§ 1681(a)(1)-(9).
"Each Federal department and agency which is empowered to extend Federal financial assistance to any education program or activity, by way of grant, loan, or contract other than a contract of insurance or guaranty, is authorized and directed to effectuate the provisions of section  with respect to such program or activity by issuing rules, regulations, or orders of general applicability which shall be consistent with achievement of the objectives of the statute authorizing the financial assistance in connection with which the action is taken. No such rule, regulation, or order shall become effective unless and until approved by the President. Compliance with any requirement adopted pursuant to this section may be effected (1) by the termination of or refusal to grant or to continue assistance under such program or activity to any recipient as to whom there has been an express finding on the record, after opportunity for hearing, of a failure to comply with such requirement, but such termination or refusal shall be limited to the particular political entity, or part thereof, or other recipient as to whom such a finding has been made, and shall be limited in its effect to the particular program, or part thereof, in which such noncompliance has been so found, or (2) by any other means authorized by law: Provided, however, That no such action shall be taken until the department or agency concerned has advised the appropriate person or persons of the failure to comply with the requirement and has determined that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means. In the case of any action terminating, or refusing to grant or continue, assistance because of failure to comply with a requirement imposed pursuant to this section, the head of the Federal department or agency shall file with the committees of the House and Senate having legislative jurisdiction over the program or activity involved a full written report of the circumstances and the grounds for such action. No such action shall become effective until thirty days have elapsed after the filing of such report" (emphasis in original).
"Federal financial assistance" is defined in 34 CFR § 106.2(g)(1) (1983) to include:
"A grant or loan of Federal financial assistance, including funds made available for:
"(ii) Scholarships, loans, grants, wages or other funds extended to any entity for payment to or on behalf of students admitted to that entity, or extended directly to such students for payment to that entity."
A "recipient" is defined in 34 CFR § 106.2(h) (1983) to include:
"[A]ny public or private agency, institution, or organization, or other entity, or any person, to whom Federal financial assistance is extended directly or through another recipient and which operates an education program or activity which receives or benefits from such assistance . . . ."
See also 34 CFR §§ 106.11, 106.31(a) (1983).
Grove City's attempt to analogize BEOG's to food stamps, Social Security benefits, welfare payments, and other forms of general-purpose governmental assistance to low-income families is unavailing. First, there is no evidence that Congress intended the receipt of federal money in this manner to trigger coverage under Title IX. Second, these general assistance programs, unlike student aid programs, were not designed to assist colleges and universities. Third, educational institutions have no control over, and indeed perhaps no knowledge of, whether they ultimately receive federal funds made available to individuals under general assistance programs, but they remain free to opt out of federal student assistance programs. Fourth, individuals' eligibility for general assistance is not tied to attendance at an educational institution.
"Mr. DOMINICK. The Senator is talking about every program under HEW?
"Mr. BAYH. Let me suggest that I would imagine that any person who was sitting at the head of [HEW], administering this program, would be reasonable and would use only such leverage as was necessary against the institution.
"It is unquestionable, in my judgment, that this would not be directed at specific assistance that was being received by individual students, but would be directed at the institution, and the Secretary would be expected to use good judgment as to how much leverage to apply, and where it could best be applied." 117 Cong. Rec. 30408 (1971).
Grove City contends that Senator Bayh's statement demonstrates an intent to exclude student aid from coverage under Title IX. We believe that his answer is more plausibly interpreted as suggesting that, although the Secretary is empowered to terminate student aid, he probably would not need to do so where leverage could be exerted by terminating other assistance. The students, of course, always remain free to take their assistance elsewhere.
"Our view was that student assistance, assistance that the Government furnishes, that goes directly or indirectly to an institution is Government aid within the meaning of Title IX. If it is not, there is an easy remedy. Simply tell us that it is not. We believe it is and base our assumption on that." Id., at 484.
It is also significant that in 1976 Congress enacted legislation clarifying the intent of the Privacy Act to ensure that institutions serving as payment agents for the BEOG program are not considered contractors maintaining a system of records to accomplish a function of the Secretary. Pub. L. 94-328, § 2(f), 90 Stat. 727, 20 U. S. C. § 1070a(c). This legislation responded to concerns expressed by educational institutions over "the additional and unnecessary administrative burdens which would be imposed upon them if [they] were deemed `contractors.' " S. Rep. No. 94-954, p. 3 (1976). In sharp contrast, Congress has failed to respond to repeated requests by colleges in Grove City's position for legislation exempting them from coverage under Title IX.
The statutory authorization for BEOG's, moreover, has been renewed three times. Pub. L. 94-482, § 121(a), 90 Stat. 2091; Pub. L. 95-566, § 2, 92 Stat. 2402; Pub. L. 96-374, § 402(a), 94 Stat. 1401. Each time, Congress was well aware of the administrative interpretation under which such grants were believed to trigger coverage under Title IX. The history of these reenactments makes clear that Congress regards BEOG's and other forms of student aid as a critical source of support for educational institutions. See, e. g., Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and Related Measures: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the House Committee on Education and Labor, 96th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 3, p. 400 (1979) (Rep. Ford). In view of Congress' consistent failure to amend either Title IX or the BEOG statute in a way that would support Grove City's argument, we feel fully justified in concluding that "the legislative intent has been correctly discerned." North Haven Board of Education v. Bell, supra, at 535.
Grove City asks to be relieved of that judgment on the grounds that none of its educational programs is receiving any federal aid and that if any of its programs is receiving aid, it is only its administration of the BEOG program. Grove City is entitled to have these issues addressed, for otherwise it must deal with the undisturbed judgment of the Court of Appeals that the entire College is subject to federal oversight under Title IX. Even though the Secretary has changed his position and no longer agrees with the expansive construction accorded the statute by the Court of Appeals, it is still at odds with Grove City as to the extent of the covered program; and, in any event, its modified stance can hardly overturn or modify the judgment below or eliminate Grove City's legitimate and substantial interest in having its submissions adjudicated.
This requirement was altered in the Education Amendments of 1980, Pub. L. 96-374, § 487(a), 94 Stat. 1451, 20 U. S. C. § 1094(a)(2) (1982 ed.), and
"In the Federally-affected area programs . . . for construction aid and for general support of the operation of elementary or secondary schools, or in programs for more limited support to such schools such as for the acquisition of equipment, the provision of vocational education, or the provision of guidance and counseling services, discrimination by the recipient school district in any of its elementary or secondary schools in the admission of students, or in the treatment of its students in any aspect of the educational process, is prohibited. In this and the following illustrations the prohibition of discrimination in the treatment of students . . . includes the prohibition of discrimination among the students . . . in the availability or use of any academic, dormitory, eating, recreational, or other facilities of the grantee or other recipient." 45 CFR § 80.5(b) (1972).
"[T]here is not a college athletic department anywhere in the country that receives Federal funds. The intercollegiate athletics provisions of the regulations are thus inconsistent with the statute in that they impose requirements on college programs not receiving Federal assistance.
"HEW attempts to surmount this obvious inconsistency through recourse to semantics. The statute clearly refers to programs receiving Federal assistance and the courts have established that programs are in fact separable. Yet, HEW argues, when pressed, that its authority includes not only those programs actually receiving Federal assistance but those which indirectly benefit from that assistance as well. Thus, according to this tortious logic, college football receives Federal assistance because it may benefit indirectly from federally guaranteed student loans unrelated to athletics or a student athlete may use the school library whose construction was assisted by Federal funding. Needless to say, this is a rather slender reed upon which to base a social policy of this magnitude." 121 Cong. Rec. 22941 (1975) (remarks of Sen. Laxalt).
Despite this rhetorical flourish, Congress has consistently endorsed the Department's regulation of college athletic programs, and indeed has affirmatively required such regulations. See, e. g., Pub. L. 93-380, § 844, 88 Stat. 612 ("The Secretary shall prepare and publish . . . proposed regulations implementing the provisions of title IX . . . relating to the prohibition of sex discrimination in federally assisted education programs which shall include with respect to intercollegiate athletic activities reasonable provisions considering the nature of particular sports"). See also Brief for Council of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators as Amicus Curiae 4-16. Cf. Haffer v. Temple University, 524 F.Supp. 531 (ED Pa. 1981), aff'd, 688 F.2d 14 (CA3 1982). The opinion for the Court, limited as it is to a college that receives only "[s]tudent financial aid . . . [that] is sui generis," ante, at 573, obviously does not decide whether athletic programs operated by colleges receiving other forms of federal financial assistance are within the reach of Title IX. Cf. 688 F. 2d, at 15, n. 5 (discussing the many forms of federal aid received by Temple University and its athletic department).
"First, payments to veterans enrolled at approved schools serve to defray the costs of the educational program of the schools thereby releasing institutional funds which would, in the absence of federal assistance, be spent on the student. . . .
"[S]econd . . . the participation of veterans who — but for the availability of federal funds — would not enter the educational programs of the approved school, benefits the school by enlarging the pool of qualified applicants upon which it can draw for its educational program.
"Finally, . . . [g]rant programs frequently use institutions as conduits through which federal funds or other assistance pass to the ultimate beneficiaries. Clearly, Title VI attaches to a recipient acting in that capacity.. . . The altered method of payment under the current statutes [under which federal moneys go directly to the students] does not change the nature of the program or the basic role of the schools participating in the program. . . . [T]he nondiscriminatory participation of these schools is essential if the benefits of these statutes are to flow to beneficiaries without regard to race." 396 F. Supp., at 602-603 (footnotes omitted).
The court also explained that coverage of the college's educational program was fully consistent with the congressional purpose underlying Title VI. See id., at 604.
Other congressional developments since the issuance of the Department's regulations, which have not resulted in amendments to the statute, lend even more support to the broader view of Title IX. After the Department's final regulations went into effect in 1975, for example, Senator Helms introduced amendments to Title IX which would have defined "education programs and activities" to mean "only programs or activities which are an integral part of the required curriculum of an educational institution." S. 2146, § 2(1), 94th Cong., 1st Sess. (1975); see 121 Cong. Rec. 23845-23847 (1975). No action was taken on the bill. Similarly, in 1976, Senator McClure sponsored an amendment to define "education program or activity" as "such programs or activities as are curriculum or graduation requirements of the institutions." Amendment No. 389 to S. 2657, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. (1976); see 122 Cong. Rec. 28136 (1976). This amendment was rejected in a recorded vote. Id., at 28147. Finally, the 98th Congress has recently reaffirmed its commitment to Title IX and to the regulations originally issued thereunder. In particular, the House passed (414-8) a resolution expressing its belief that Title IX and its regulations "should not be amended or altered in any manner which will lessen the comprehensive coverage of such statute in eliminating gender discrimination throughout the American educational system." H. Res. 190, 98th Cong., 1st Sess. (1983); 129 Cong. Rec. H10085-H10095, H10100-H10101 (Nov. 16, 1983). See H. R. Rep. No. 98-418 (1983). See also S. Res. 149, 98th Cong., 1st Sess. (1983). After today's Court decision, it will take another reaffirmation of congressional intent, in the form of a clarifying amendment to Title IX, to ensure that the original legislative will is no longer frustrated.