This week has been crazy productive and exciting. I spent it looking through historical newspapers for information about the original HEA and why reauthorizations were required. A lot of the stuff I have found so far has been very useful and I am so glad for finally getting some of this stuff.
I think I am going to be modifying my original thesis a bit, which is scary. But it’s only because I have come across many more things that make me think that the blame for how everything turned out cannot be placed on the reauthorizers. It seems that the original purpose of the college aid program was to provide an alternative to the tuition tax credit proposal. The proposal in Congress for the loan program was meant to provide unsubsidized loans to students at a time when college enrollment was increasing.
But I am starting to see that if things had been done differently back then, we would not be where we are now, especially because the Graduate Student Loan program didn’t work out well. Subsidized loans had more students going to college, and they were not originally intended.
Also, at the time I do not think Congress could have predicted how much enrollment would increase, and the ups and downs of the economy.
Building on all this, I’ve developed a detailed outline of my paper. Hopefully I will be able to stay on track and not get distracted by specific things in the works that I am reading, which is actually very likely.
Next week I’ll start my first draft of the paper. I am both excited and nervous. Mostly i can’t wait to share everything that I’ve found so far, because pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit, and based on what I’ve learned in my history classes, I’ve been able to make lots of connections.
Wish me luck!