MERCEDES, RGV – Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education, has honored the 50th Anniversary of the Higher Education Act of 1965 with a resolution on the House floor.

U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Mercedes.
U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa

The resolution, H. Res. 505, was co-sponsored by 65 House members, including Congressman Bobby Scott, ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

“When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Higher Education Act of 1965, he created the greatest opportunity for millions of Americans to realize their dream of earning a college degree,” Hinojosa said. “We remember this important and historical milestone as the biggest game changer for creating a more level playing field for those who aspire to enroll in colleges and universities across our great nation.”

Hinojosa said that since the enactment of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress has made significant progress in making college more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans, including historically underrepresented students and students from low-income and moderate income families.

The Mercedes, Texas, Democrat pointed out that in 2010, President Obama signed into law the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. This legislation included the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), the single largest investment in federal student aid since the GI bill.

“As Congress moves to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to access and attain a high quality postsecondary education,” Hinojosa said.

Another person to note the 50th Anniversary of the Higher Education Act of 1965 was U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. He said:

“On this day 50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Higher Education Act into law. At the signing, Johnson spoke of the bill as the key that would unlock the door to education for millions of Americans.

“For a great number of students, Johnson’s vision is a reality: college is a transformative experience that sets them on the path to a career, the middle class, and thriving lives. But for far too many students, our higher education system isn’t delivering what they need or deserve. As a nation, we can – and we must — change that. Every hard-working student in this country must have a real opportunity to earn a meaningful, affordable degree. Our prosperity, democracy, and identity as a land of opportunity depend on it.

“Today, college is more important perhaps than ever before. A high school diploma simply isn’t enough to meet the needs of the high-demand fields of the 21st century. While our population continues to grow more diverse, it’s critical to ensure that we serve all students better.  To meet their needs, we need to focus on three key areas: first, dealing with cost and debt; second, focusing much more on outcomes; and third, driving desperately-needed innovation. Together, these changes represent the higher education challenge – and opportunity — of our generation.

“While we still have further to go, I’m hopeful. I believe in the vision Johnson laid out 50 years ago: I believe that education can, and will, unleash the vast potential of our people. And I believe that, with courageous and committed leaders behind this goal, we can move closer to fulfilling the promise of higher education. Providing real pathways to college and the middle class is not just an economic imperative – it’s the right thing to do.”

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this story shows President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the Higher Education Act of 1965 into law in the Master’s Gymnasium at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas on November 8, 1965.