The National Defense Education Act of 1958 (NDEA) is federal legislation that was passed primarily to stimulate the advancement of education in the sciences, mathematics, and modern foreign languages during the Cold War era. While providing funding at all levels, the primary focus of the NDEA was on postsec-ondary education. The act provided institutions of higher education with funds for granting low-interest loans to students. The NDEA also gave federal support for improvement to elementary and secondary science, mathematics, and foreign language education.

In the aftermath of the launch of the Soviet Sputnik 1 satellite on October 4, 1957, the U.S. Congress declared the existence of an educational state of emergency requiring action by the federal government. The purpose of the act was to provide federal ...

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