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ERIC Number: ED542500
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Pages: 72
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 63
Opening the Doors to Higher Education: Perspectives on the Higher Education Act 40 Years Later
Cervantes, Angelica; Creusere, Marlena; McMillion, Robin; McQueen, Carla; Short, Matt; Steiner, Matt; Webster, Jeff
TG (Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation)
The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 has opened the doors of higher education to millions of academically qualified students. Like most bills that pass Congress, the HEA had resulted from numerous compromises. Congress has had several opportunities to review and modify the legislation over the years, but a solid foundation had been laid in 1965 in San Marcos, Texas, establishing a federal role in providing need-based grants, work-study opportunities, and loans to students willing to invest in themselves. Outreach programs were also created to help the most economically disadvantaged students. This report is organized into three main sections. "Historical Background" traces early developments in higher education policy beginning with George Washington's Administration. From the founding of the country, the federal government has seen a role for the federal government in promoting higher education and ensuring that the new territories set aside land for colleges--a program that would help democratize higher education, while also elevating the minds of the settlers. The HEA sprang from a tradition of support for colleges that President Johnson acknowledged by appointing former President Truman to chair his higher education advisory commission. Yet the HEA was also a break from previous federal programs. "HEA: From Proposal to Passage" covers the momentous activities and circumstances that led to the passage of the act. This section introduces many of the personalities who helped shape the legislation and usher it through the process. The initial titles that formed the foundation of the act are described in this section. Title IV, which created the student aid programs and the TRIO programs, was perhaps the most significant title. How Title IV has changed overtime is the subject of "Reauthorizations of the HEA Title IV." Congress has frequently amended the HEA, most notably during regular intervals known as "reauthorizations" because the act requires periodic legislation to become renewed or else must expire. These reauthorizations have sometimes resulted in minor changes, while at other times they have significantly restructured the programs such as when creating the Basic Education Opportunity Grant (now Pell Grant) in 1972. Despite changes in party leadership in Congress and the presidency, the HEA has retained bipartisan support. Each reauthorization has attempted to address the issue and challenges of the day, while trying to move closer to President Johnson's goal of keeping the doors to higher education open for all academically qualified students regardless of their financial circumstances. Just as President Johnson was disappointed that the signing ceremonies had to be brought indoors, so too have advocates for equal education opportunities been periodically frustrated over the financial barriers to higher education that still persist. They await their day in the sun. Appended are: (1) Maximum Authorized Pell Grant, Maximum Actual Pell Grant, and Average Pell Grant per Student, in Current Dollars (Award Years 1974-1975 to 2004-2005); (2) Number of Eligible Pell Grant Recipients and Number of Actual Pell Grant Recipients, in Thousands (Award Years 1973-1974 to 2003-2004); (3) Total Federal Grant Aid and Total Federal Loan Aid Awarded for Postsecondary Education, in Millions of Current Dollars (Award Years 1963-1964 to 2004-2005); and (4) Total Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Aid and Total Direct Loan Program Aid, in Millions of Current Dollars (Award Years 1993-1994 to 2003-2004). A bibliography is included. (Contains 98 endnotes.)
TG (Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation). PO Box 83100, Round Rock, TX 78683. Tel: 800-252-9743; Tel: 512-219-5700; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Higher Education Act 1965; Higher Education Act Title IV