The primary purpose of the Higher Education Act (HEA) is to ease the burden of the cost of college by allocating federal student loans and grants to students. It is a large piece of legislation, and touches nearly every aspect of federal higher education policy. The HEA was first signed into law by President Johnson in 1965, and has been reauthorized 9 times. The most recent reauthorization was in 2008, so it's likely to be up for reauthorization by Congress this fall. The amendments that are being suggested for this year's reauthorization focus on (1) making higher education more accessible by providing more financial aid to students, and (2) streamlining the financial aid process to make it more intuitive for students and parents. These are noble, important goals, especially considering that student loan debt in the U.S. has now surpassed $1 trillion. However, economic realities that exist today in our global, "sharing economy" are vastly different than they were in the Johnson era that informed the original legislation.