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Federal Formula Grants: Student Aid and Higher Education

Summary

The federal government has become the primary source of postsecondary education support for U.S. college students. The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), last amended in 1998, authorizes a disparate array of programs that span various federal government offices, employing multiple delivery mechanisms. Programs help make college attendance affordable for low-income students, assist targeted institutions, encourage college-bound high school students, and enhance K-12 teacher training programs at U.S. universities. This report examines HEA’s myriad components—including grants, loans, and other forms of aid—from a California perspective, with an emphasis on California’s share of federal resources. Its focuses primarily on federal activities that provide funds to recipient individuals or institutions using statutorily-prescribed mathematical constructs.

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