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Bridget Terry Long Harvard Graduate School of Education and NBER Legacy of the War on Poverty: A 50 year Retrospective Conference ~ June 12, 2012 Supporting.

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Presentation on theme: "Bridget Terry Long Harvard Graduate School of Education and NBER Legacy of the War on Poverty: A 50 year Retrospective Conference ~ June 12, 2012 Supporting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bridget Terry Long Harvard Graduate School of Education and NBER Legacy of the War on Poverty: A 50 year Retrospective Conference ~ June 12, 2012 Supporting Access to Higher Education The College Preparation and Financial Assistance Programs of the War on Poverty

2 2 Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 Bill introduces Federal Work Study Provides broadly for General Community Action Programs of which Upward Bound is an example Higher Education Act of 1965 Introduces the Educational Opportunity Grant, which precedes the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (later renamed the Pell Grant) Also introduces Guaranteed Student Loans Expanded the National Defense Student Loans Amended the Federal Work Study program Defining the War: The Programs

3 3 Median School Years Completed, 1960 (persons age 25 and older) Before the War on Poverty: Higher Education in the Early 1960s Years of School Completed, 1960 (persons age 25 and older) WhiteNon-White All Male Female WhiteBlack Completed 4 or More Years: HS 43%20% Completed 4 or More Years: College 8%3%

4 4 (1) Establishing the significant Federal role Previous Federal Actions  1947 Truman Commission – suggested expansion  National Defense Education Act of 1958 – limited Foundation of substantial and far-reaching support Concerns about overstepping bounds  states and institutions as partners Huge increase in spending  : Total federal aid was only $1.6 billion in 2010 (mostly due to aid to veterans)  By , federal expenditures reached over $18 billion (2010 dollars) Putting the War on Poverty in Perspective

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6 6 (2) The Movement towards Mass Higher Education Underscored the Needs of Students as access to higher education was increasing  Gaps in attendance by income and race  Liquidity Constraints  Need for government-backed loans  Johnson: “The important role of the federal government is somehow to do something for the people who are down and out, and that’s where its major energy in education ought to go.” Focused on the individual student First generally-available aid programs (not just veterans, special fields, or the gifted) Putting the War on Poverty in Perspective

7 7 (3) Establishing the American Landscape of Aid The Role of Federal Grants  Educational Opportunity Grant (EOG)  Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (BEOG) = Pell Grant The Increasing Role of Loans  Guaranteed Student Loans = Stafford Loan Program (federally-guaranteed, private loans)  National Defense Student Loan Program = Perkins Loans (direct loans) Federal Work Study Scott-Clayton (2012): student employment nearly doubled from 1970 to 2000 Only about 1 in 5 receives support from Work Study Putting the War on Poverty in Perspective

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9 9 (4) Aid is not enough: The Important Roles of preparation and information The increasingly complex educational pathway Gaps in preparation and information by income and race TRIO Programs  1964: Upward Bound  1965: Talent Search  1968: Student Support Services Assist 1 st -generation and other disadvantaged youth to prepare for and attend college Services: tutoring, mentoring, information or college opportunities, and assistance completing applications Putting the War on Poverty in Perspective

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12 12 Have the Grant Programs Worked?  Delivery matters: Through institutions (originally) or standardized through the federal government  Design matters – simplicity  Subject to annual appropriations Other Financial aid  Effects of loans on college access, choice, and success?  Longer-term repercussions of loans?  Effects of work study? Beyond Financial Aid  Difficult to research  Mathematica studies: generally positive but difficult to discern which components are helpful Lessons from the War on Poverty: Higher Education

13 13 Fifty years later, the effects of the War on Poverty are still very much evident in the higher education system Despite substantial increases in access to higher education during the last several decades, postsecondary attendance continues to be stratified by family income and race Questions about how to improve grants along with concerns about the complicated effects of loans Information and academic preparation also remain important barriers Role of schools, colleges, and universities should also not be underestimated, but more research is needed to understand how these institutions interact with aid policy The Legacy: Higher Education


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