History of Federal Student Loans

History of Federal Student LoansThe history of student loans through the Federal Government is not quit as extensive as one might think. Federal Student Loans have only been available for the past 50 years as of 2015.

So where and how did it start? Here is a look at the history of student loans.

Higher Education Act of 1965

The Higher Education Act of 1965 was signed into law in November of that year by then United States President Lyndon B. Johnson as part of his plan to create a ‘Great Society.’ The act also provided higher funding to public colleges and universities, giving them more resources. In the longer name, it is known as ‘An Act to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in post-secondary and higher education.’

Students suddenly found themselves with more opportunity as scholarships were created and loans were offered without high interest rates. President Johnson was adamant about secondary education becoming one of the top priorities in America, and that vision is still alive today.

Originally proposed to the House of Representatives on January 19, 1965, it only took 11 months to get through the Congressmen, Senators and finally the President. The Act itself is classified as Public Law 89-329.

The first approved Higher Education Act of 1965 carried six different titles with it:

  1. Providing funding for and continuing the use of educational programs.
  2. Allocating money in order to grow library inventory.
  3. Provisions made to newer colleges and universities to grow.
  4. Providing scholarships and lower interest loans to students, as well as work study opportunities.
  5. Improvements to the quality of curriculum for the teachers.
  6. Adjustments to the undergrad programs to make them higher quality.

College Cost and Access Act

The year 2007 brought the introduction of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRA). With some students becoming unable to make the necessary payments back on their federal loans, this act was created as a way of raising forgiveness.

After a former student has been employed for a decade with a branch of public service, the loan then becomes discharged. There are some stipulations that have to be met in order to have the loan discharged. For instance, a total of 120 payments must have been made (averaging one per month for 10 years). These payments had to have been made after October 1, 2007 to count towards the total.

Department of Education

The Federal Government loans are serviced by the Department of Education. This means that if you are making repayment options, this will have to go through this department. Direct loans through the Department of Education (as funded by the Federal Government) is known as The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. There are several forms of assistance that the program provides, including Pell Grants, TEACH Grants, loans and work study programs.

The Department of Education was originally created in 1867, but was quickly moved to a minor part of the Department of the Interior. The original purpose that the department served was mostly data collection to help set up schooling programs that would be more effective. In 1890, the main goal of the department was to help support colleges and universities that were created through land grants.

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