Looking Back to Move Forward: A History of Federal Financial Aid

To understand the current state of federal student aid - tax benefits, Pell Grants, federal loans and repayment programs - we must understand its evolution.

The Institute for Higher Education Policy invites you to view the six-part film series Looking Back to Move Forward, produced in partnership with Lumina Foundation. Each short film explores key legislative milestones for several federal student aid programs and includes insights from the people directly involved in the policy discussions. Viewing guides filled with helpful background information accompany each film.   

The U.S. Department of Education invests over $150 billion dollars annually in federal student aid. Despite this substantial investment, only 2% of colleges are affordable for many low-income and working-class students. Looking Back to Move Forward provides instructive lessons essential to informing today's conversations about the future of federal student aid policy.

The Other Side of the Ledger: Student Aid Through Tax Benefits Learn how tax credits including the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credits were designed to supplement direct student aid programs traditionally targeted at low-income students and make college more affordable for the middle class. 

Join the conversation on Twitter using @IHEPTweets, @LuminaFound, and #FinAidHistory.

To learn more, visit lookingback.luminafoundation.org