Higher Education Act Media Kit

On Nov. 8, 1965, President Johnson signed the Higher Education Act at his alma mater, Southwest Texas State College, now Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas.

Inside a packed gymnasium, he spoke of the lessons he learned in college, about his experiences as a teacher, and he called education the key to the future.

The Act, which is the major law that governs federal student aid, was intended "to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education." It increased federal money given to universities, created scholarships, gave low-interest loans to students, and established a National Teacher Corps. The original law, which was part of Johnson's "Great Society" domestic agenda, has been reauthorized nine times through the years.

For historical perspective, the LBJ Presidential Library has collected related Higher Education Act archival materials including photos, text, and the daily diary from signing day; photos of Johnson as a student at Southwest Texas State College; and a 50th anniversary commemorative video by Texas State University. All are public domain.

"Here the seeds were planted from which grew my firm conviction that for the individual, education is the path to achievement and fulfillment; for the Nation, it is a path to a society that is not only free but civilized; and for the world, it is the path to peaceā€”for it is education that places reason over force."

- President Lyndon B. Johnson, speaking at his alma mater, Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University),
Nov. 8, 1965