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The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), Public Law 89–329, was initiated and passed as a part of President Lyndon Johnson's ambitious social policy programs, which were known as the “Great Society.” The many subsequent reauthorizations and various amendments of the HEA have continued to provide means for greater access to higher education. This entry discusses the most noteworthy sections of original law and of the legislative changes chronologically. In addition, the entry reviews relevant cases that have emerged in court and that challenged applications of the law.

The main impetus for the HEA was President's Johnson's desire to use education as a tool for economic growth and development, an approach that fit within his broader social policy agenda. For example, Johnson sought to push the ...

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