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Short Title

History of Student Aid

Abstract

The history of financial aid in higher education covers a board range of philanthropic-, scholarship-, and loan-based approaches. This article comprehensively covers the history of American financial aid to students from influences of European medieval institutions to contemporary aid systems. A broad history of financial aid is covered, revealing an evolution from a system primarily based upon local philanthropic efforts, to a more formal system of scholarships and grants, to, finally, a complex federal system of loans. As the history of financial aid is chronologically covered, attention is paid to describing how financial aid policies and practices were a response to societal and political contexts of their times and how need- and merit-based philosophies have given way to political agenda-based philosophies of aid.

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