Maryland should double its $11 million expenditure on college scholarships, paying particular attention to broadening minority students' access to higher education, University of Maryland President John S. Toll said yesterday.

A shortage of financial aid is "a major factor" underlying a sharp decline during the last several years in the number of black students going to college, both in Maryland and nationally, Toll said at a lunch with editors and reporters of The Washington Post.

A lack of scholarships also has contributed to escalating default rates on federally guaranteed college loans by forcing poor students to borrow money they are not always able to pay back, Toll said.

"We've tried to put too heavy a burden on the loan programs," he said. "Many students who should be getting grants have been forced to take loans when they're really not in a position to carry {them}."

Although the federal government is, by far, the largest source of student aid, Maryland should play a greater role in helping young people pay for college, Toll said.

The state now provides $11.1 million a year for a variety of scholarship programs.

"I would certainly like to see it at least doubled," Toll said yesterday.

That increase is less than the State Board for Higher Education, the agency that oversees Maryland's colleges, has advocated for two years.

The board has recommended that the state gradually raise its spending on scholarships to $40 million over five years. However, the governor and the General Assembly, which determine financial aid levels as part of the state budget, increased the supply of scholarships by just $3 million for the current fiscal year.

In particular, Toll praised a recommendation by Maryland's Legislative Black Caucus, which called for a "significant increase" in state scholarships in a position paper it issued in August on ways to improve the state's higher education system.

The caucus recommended that the state spend an additional $10 million during fiscal 1989 on a new financial aid program for students from low- and moderate-income families. Twenty percent of that money should be designated for community college students, the caucus proposed, while 30 percent should be devoted to students at schools where three-quarters of the students come from such families -- in other words, at the state's four predominantly black campuses.

The caucus also recommended that the state spend an additional $3 million next year for minority graduate students studying in fields where minorities are underrepresented, such as engineering.

Yesterday, Toll called the caucus' proposal "a very good idea." He said he had met with the chairman of the caucus' education committee and had agreed to cooperate with the group in working out the details of a new aid program.

Toll reiterated his belief that Maryland should overhaul its higher education system by clustering all of the state's public colleges and universities under a single governing board.

That arrangement has been endorsed by 10 other chief executives of Maryland's colleges and by Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who has said he wants the 1988 General Assembly to adopt a new system for governing the schools.

In creating a new system, Toll said, the state should be careful to preserve the individual identities of the 13 four-year public schools, which are governed now by four separate boards.

He said he would be in favor of including in the state legislation required to change the college system a clear statement that the University of Maryland at College Park should remain the state's premier research university.

Deans and faculty members at College Park have said they are worried that the governing system favored by Toll would lead to an erosion of their campus's stature and state aid, at the expense of other colleges in the state.