Higher Education Act
What is the Higher Education Act?
With the vision "to strengthen the educational resources of the colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education" and in accordance to President Lyndon Johnson's domestic agenda, the High Education Act was signed on November 8, 1965. Because of this Act, the amount of federal money that was given to the universities was increased and several scholarships along with low-interest loans were also created in order to assist students financially for their higher education.
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In the years 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1992, and 1998 the Higher Education Act was reauthorized. Every time the Act was reauthorized, the congress used to make amendments and changes in the current programs and policies. When the act was reauthorized in 1998, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs were authorized. Another amendment was authorized in which those students who were previously convicted of a drug crime were denied from receiving any federal financial aid for their higher education, the amendment was called the Aid Elimination Provision.
It was in 2003, when several propositions of the Higher Education Act were set to expire. It was the minority groups that joined hands in order to the restore the Higher Education Act. The groups included American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education and a number of other supporting groups. The groups came into an alliance with similar goals which were to give incentives to encourage their entrance into those programs in which minorities were underrepresented.
The minority groups also demanded easygoing loan plans and funding for the minority students to be offered by the government. These were not only for the undergraduate programs but also for the minority students studying for graduate programs in the Universities. Even though many of the Alliance's propositions regarding a change in the Higher Education Act received the senate's attention, that didn't mean that they accepted all of them as well. For example, the Alliance's demand of increasing the amount offered, in order to cover the student's expenses in a more reasonable way, in a Pell Grant, was declined by the senate. However, the senate did pass their proposition and allowed more funding to go to Universities to keep them updated and current and the grace period for those colleges was removed, who were asking for more loans. The elimination of the grace period was made so that universities wouldn't have to wait for their loan to be granted.
Though the Higher Education Act was restored, but still several propositions for the act were accepted. A number of renewals were also made along with several extensions that lasted up till April 2008. The US Senate, nevertheless, did passed the reauthorization Bill of Higher Education Act on July 2007 and it was passed by the House of Representatives in February of 200. The bill hasn't reached on presidents table yet for his signature.