How Did We Get Here:
Growth of Federal Student Loans
“How Did We Get Here: Growth of Federal Student Loans” follows the expansion of the federal student loan program throughout the years, from its origins in helping middle-income students afford a college education to an eventual rise in student loan borrowing. This 15-minute film chronicles:
- the rise in loan volume
- the impact of budgetary and accountability factors on the loan program
- the development of repayment options that provide tools for students to manage loan debt.
for Financing Postsecondary Education, 1991–93
Where Financial Aid Began
Partnering with Campuses and States
The federal government has historically leveraged funds for both states and colleges to expand access and opportunity to higher education. “Where Financial Aid Began: Partnering with Campuses and States” documents a history of these partnerships and the policies that shaped them—from the introduction of the original campus-based programs and state partnerships through their growth or decline over the years. The federal programs covered in this 10-minute film all require a monetary match from states and colleges, thereby expanding the reach of federal financial aid.
Labor and Pensions Committee, 1987-93
Building Block of Student-Based Aid
“Pell Grant: Building Block of Student-Based Aid” chronicles the history of the program from its bipartisan legislative origins through its various selected subsequent iterations. This 14-minute film documents several key changes to the Pell Grant program including efforts to broaden and limit student eligibility, ebbs and flows in funding, increases in the maximum award levels, and the creation of supplemental programs for Pell recipients.
Labor, and Pensions Committee, 1978-1996
Form and Formula
How the Federal Government Distributes Aid to Students
“Form and Formula: How the Federal Government Distributes Aid to Students” explains the history of need analysis—the method used to determine the amount of federal aid a student receives—and the method of collecting financial data from students and families. The system of determining need began with colleges and universities each establishing how best to distribute institutional aid while using their own forms to collect data, and evolved to the creation of a robust, national form and formula regulated by the federal government.
This 13-minute film closely follows this evolution by documenting the passage of several seminal pieces of higher education legislation and following the diverse efforts of institutions, associations, and policymakers in determining the best form and formula to use when providing students and their families with money for college.
on Student Financial Assistance, 1988-2005
The Other Side of the Ledger
Student Aid Through Tax Benefits
“The Other Side of the Ledger: Student Aid Through Tax Benefits” explains the history of tax benefits such as tax credits, tax deductions, and qualified tuition programs used to pay for higher education related expenses.
In an effort to make college more affordable, federal lawmakers have proposed several approaches to make tax benefits—primarily aimed at the middle class—a viable way to supplement the direct student aid programs traditionally targeted at low-income students. Although these efforts began over half a century ago, it was not until the late 1990s that tax benefits for college expenses were written into the tax code. This 14-minute film details important legislative milestones and describes the growth of these benefits.
for legislation and congressional affairs, U.S. Department of Education, 2009-14
When the Bill Comes Due
Evolution of Student Loan Repayment
The first federal student loan program was designed to increase the number of students pursuing careers in areas considered important to national security. As student loan programs expanded to serve a broader cross-section of students and became the federal government’s primary form of student aid, repayment options—including plans based on income—evolved to help students manage loan debt. “When the Bill Comes Due: Evolution of Student Loan Repayment,” a 12-minute documentary, explores these early repayment options and follows the evolution of income-driven repayment plans.
Thomas E. Petri (R-WI), 2009-14