The Higher Education Act (1965) and Role of Lyndon B. Johnson

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So, the act of congress I’ve chosen to show you today, is the “Higher Education Act of 1965.”

This act helped the amount of resources colleges and universities were provided with, while also providing students of financial aid to secondary students by the United States of America. This act can also help providing childcare to single mothers, so they may attend college. I have chosen this act on a part of me being a college student myself and knowing the absolute necessity of financial aid. Also, I have witnessed firsthand how beneficiary it is to have up to date equipment and books during school. Having these things can make students in America prosper and thrive in their education. This act specifically targets lower class citizens. This act helps them get into schools so that it gives them more of a chance, rather than not having anything at all. As we go on throughout this paper, I’ll be informing you when, what and how this act came to be in the first place.

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So now going back to the origins of the Higher Education Act. So first we go back to when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX on November 22. This devastation led to Vice President Lyndon B Johnson, stepping up and taking over office. While in office Lyndon B Johnson, had this idea of “The Great Society.” This idea was that he “Declared a war on poverty!” It was basically to end all the poor man’s troubles. Lyndon B Johnson passed various acts into action while he was in office, to prove to the people he was very capable of becoming president of the United States. Inn 1964 Lyndon B Johnson won his election against Barry Goldwater by a massive margin. Now that Lyndon B Johnson was in office, he did not hesitate to go to work. Since his whole plan was based around eliminating poverty, another one of his acts that was passed was the Higher Education Act of 1965. This act targeted college bound students, as well as lower class citizens. It established financial aid for students. This bill was first introduced to “strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary education” This was introduced by the representative of Oregon, Edith Green. Next, the Senator of Oregon hopped on bored by introducing the bell to obviously the senate. When Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon introduced the bill, he had extreme hopes of creating the National Teacher Corpse. The “National Teacher Corpse,” “created which would recruit teachers to serve in low-income areas and train teachers through internships.” After this bill was introduced, they proceeded to have many court hearings through vast sub-committees. Specific sub-committees such as the “Special Subcommittee on Education and the Education Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.” (Investopedia) After these committees analyzed and fixed this bill, it finally, by August 26th it had finally passed through the house of representatives. Then, no later than a week after it passed through the house of representatives, on September 2nd it finally passed through the Senate.

So how the Higher Education Act works, is that there are six different titles to it. We’ll start with TITLE I. Title I of the Education act has received a lot of attention throughout the years. It’s designed sole purpose is to help close the gap in in reading, writing, and mathematics between children from low-income households who attend urban or rural school systems and children from the middle-class who attend suburban school systems (Jeffrey, 1978). Now moving on to TITLE II, title II was created to support “supported school libraries and textbook acquisition for both private and public schools.” (Investopedia) While also funding pre-school programs throughout the United States. Now TITLE III, can also be identified as the Adult Education Act of 1966. This Title was established to help support smaller colleges and other schools. By helping and funding these schools, it would increase attendance which brings in more money. Typically, in modern United States, colleges get a certain amount of money each year depending on the number of students attending. If Colleges have a greater amount of money to spend, they have nicer facilities, campuses, books, and all around a better experience. Now moving onto TITLE IV, title IV was originally placing only 100 million dollars over five years towards educational research and training teachers. This amount of money has increased to amount you simply can’t place a number. This specific section is here to help better are professors and teachers of America. To provide them with training to make them as best as they can be. Teachers are some of the most under paid positions in America, so there’s a true passion behind each teacher that still takes the time to pursue this position and the least we could do is provide them with free training and funding. This now brings us to are 5th Title, TITLE V. Title V, is put in action to supplement grants under public law, to state departments. This is another section over a distribution of money. Title V funding was granted to higher educational institutions to give them the ability to better their supply for Hispanic students and other low-income students. Such activities could include the “renovation of facilities, faculty development, the leverage of scientific or laboratory equipment for teaching, financial and administrative management, and improvement of academic programs, joint use of facilities, academic tutoring, and student support services.” (Pellinstitute) Grants covered a period of up to 5 years. Now bringing us to TITLE VI. Title VI provides federal funds to “129 international studies and foreign language centers at universities nationwide.” (Wikipedia)Title VI furnishes grants for “international language studies, business and international education programs” as well as international policy. Now the two Titles we will be focusing on, is going to be TITLE II, and III.

 Starting with TITLE III. So, part A of Title III, more commonly known as the English Language Acquisition or Language Enhancement. This title is made to help benefit those who’s English speaking skills are very lackluster. Specifically, children and immigrant youth. “The Act states that LEP students must not only attain English proficiency but simultaneously meet the same academic standards as their English-speaking peers in all content areas.” (CA department of Education) The amount of funding each state gets, is based off of how many immigrant students are in that specific state. The number of students is decided by a series of surveys by the state. We’ll specifically look in Texas, this state has had a lot history of immigration considering it’s up against the border with Mexico. Immigrants are estimated to be 17% percent of Texas population. (immigration council) About one in four immigrants have a college degree or more. The downside is that two in five have just a high school diploma or less. Of those two in five, are caused by a language barrier, and lack of knowledge. This Title will help this issue by putting these students in courses and classes to help them tackle the language barrier head on. Another fact is that over Nineteen Million people in the united states are NOT fluent in the English language. Having these programs can help the students of those nineteen million adapt and learn in their environments.

Now we have TITLE II, title II was stated as stated earlier, to help support school libraries and textbook acquisition for both private and public schools. Through studies it in fact has shown that better facilities can have a significant impact on students who attend it. Although you can find an outstanding student at any given school, you are more than likely to find a great student at a school with prospering facilities. “According to the US General Accounting Office (GAO) almost three-fourths of existing US schools in 1996 was constructed before 1970. Of these schools, about one-third of schools had need of extensive repair or replacement and almost two-thirds had at least one inadequate building feature such as substandard plumbing, roofing, or electrical systems.”(interioravenue) Having this TITLE helps the procedure in changing how so many schools are struggling with keeping their facilities up to date. Another issue students can deal with is space. Students tend to be more distracted while being in a crowded space, so having more space can benefit your student’s academics.

So, a reform I would purpose is to increase the amount of financial aid each school acquires each year. By doing this it helps the schools prosper and have a higher quality of education. While adding more money you could also put some more money into financial aid for the students, it is difficult already as it is to pay for college. By adding more currency, available you can see an impact on students’ lives. They will stress less and worry less about where they are going to get money to pay for their school. As well, they can save thousands and thousands of dollars on debt. Not every student has a wealthy family member to pay for them to attend a major university, or even a small division III junior college. “The average borrower in the college class of 2017 is expected to carry more than $38,000 in student loan debt.” ( 38,000 is absolutely insane amount of debt for a young American citizen to start out with. This debt isn’t even always young Americans, it could just as easily be a middle-aged adult, or even an elderly person. There is roughly 1.4 trillion dollars owed in student debt. Just in the United States alone. So, in all reality, increasing the amount of money poured into college funding is already high but it should be through the roof. Half of America is in debt, civilians can not prosper if they’re constantly strangled by their student debt.

So basically, to sum up the Higher Education Act of 1965, this act still has a major impact on the modern day American. Without this act, students all over America would be in even worse debt then they are in now. This bill helps reduce the amount of debt significantly. This act also helps just about every school in the United States. You may not realize it, but you’ve probably seen it at the very school you are attending to today, or previously attended. Without this bill our school systems would not be the same as they were today. Upper class areas schools would be thriving do too the wealth around them. They’d have an advantage with lab equipment, books, and even space. While lower class schools, they’ll struggle to keep the school even open. And a more effortless class of students. What I’m saying is, if we simply just increase the funding, lots of schools could get more advanced equipment and programs to better their students and teachers. This bill is better for America. 

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