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Higher Education Act of 1965

Your research paper can begin: As part of his “Great Society” programs, President Lyndon B. Johnson through his programs, passed the Higher Education Act of 1965, dealing with a variety of aspects of undergraduate education for students. A key component of the Higher Education Act was the creation of scholarship, grant, and loan programs to help dissuade some students from foregoing a collegiate education due to the expense. Johnson recognized that lower- and middle-class families were disproportionately underrepresented in the collegiate classroom, so it was his plan to make such forward educational progress easier and improving educational outcomes.

Other components of the Higher Education Act of 1965 affected schools directly. Smaller schools received additional funding to help develop programs that would allow them to compete with older, more developed institutions. Other institutions of higher education received funding that allowed them to improve their library resources, something that improved the quality of the education provided to their students.

Results of the Higher Education Act of 1965

Higher Education Act of 1965

In the years since 1965, several changes have been made to the Higher Education Act. In 1998, a greater emphasis was placed on funding programs that would provide high school students with college readiness skills. In 2008, changes were made to the ability of a student to discharge their student loans; if permanently disabled, the process was streamlined in order to reduce the financial burden on the individual. Further, colleges and universities were to be held to higher standards in the transparency of their funding sources and expenditures, allowing students to know where their tuition dollars were being spent. Such provisions, and many others, have allowed the Higher Education Act of 1965 to remain current even nearly 50 years later, vastly improving education in America.

The Higher Education Act of 1965 is responsible for the specific rules that govern how much financial aid a family can get. Unfortunately, as the budget deficit continues to grow the amount of monies allocated to both students and universities continues to shrink. Thus, even though an individual may qualify for more financial aid than he or she receives, the decrease in funding from the federal government has created a situation in which only the wealthy are able to comfortably afford to send their children to college. Given the impact that this process can have on the overall development of the economy in the long-term, there is a clear impetus to reexamine how financial aid is offered and what improvements can be made to ensure that more students are able to attend college.

The Cost of Higher Education

Although the Higher Education Act of 1965 was created to help all students finance a college education, it is clear that as the U.S. sinks further into debt, the ability of the government to help students pay for college will continue to diminish markedly. What this effectively suggests is that the government needs to find alternative methods to help students pay for college. Clearly, this is not an easy issue to tackle as it requires that the government make education a priority. However, if this issue is not addressed, the United States will not have the labor infrastructure to compete in the twenty-first century and beyond. Thus, changes are needed that would enable more students to receive a college education. The following are the suggested changes:

  • Limiting or capping education costs

  • Assistance for expenses for colleges and universities

  • Extensions for compulsory education

  • Government must value education

Continue your research paper as follows: Examining the specific changes that could be made by the government it is clear that the government could take steps to limit the cost of higher education. Research shows that the cost of a college education is increasing at about three times the rate of the family income. For this reason, government needs to consider some analysis of the costs associated with higher education and further, how these costs can be limited so as to keep the cost of education affordable to those in the lower and middle classes. While a direct cap on increases may provide a temporary solution, it is evident that the source of increasing costs must be assessed so that colleges and universities can eliminate some of their overhead costs permanently.

In addition to limiting increases in college tuition, the government should also consider extending compulsory education in the United States, such that all students receive the equivalent of an associate’s degree. By providing for an associate’s degree at no cost, the individual could obtain a bachelor’s degree in two years, incurring less cost. For those who desire to finish their education with an associate’s degree, this would markedly improve the employment prospects of the individual and serve as the basis to provide the U.S. with a more technically skilled labor force.

Finally, if all students seeking a college education are to be afforded this opportunity, the government must place a higher value on post-secondary education. At the present time the government has been satisfied to allow education to fall by the wayside. This is well seen in the disarray of America’s public schools. If America is to truly be prepared for its future in the global economy, the government must make education a priority. What this effectively suggests is that the government needs to increase spending for post-secondary education, providing students with the grant money that they need to attend college.