This article argues that policies in the Ronald Reagan government are responsible for much of the increase in student debt burdens. Some of the problem has occurred at the state level because states reduced funding to state colleges and universities. The Reagan Administration shifted the focus of federal funding from grants to subsidized student loans. The shift in policy was related to a shift in government ideology under Reagan. Families should be financially responsible for the education of their children. Federal tax dollars should not be used to pay for the higher education of low income students.
We should remember that Ronald Reagan was the Governor of California during the student protests in the 1960's. He used force to defuse the protests at UC Berkeley which was at the center of the student protest movement. Reagan may have developed a distaste for spending money educating leaders in the student protest movement. They had the strange idea that we should have a more democratic society. That was obviously a communist inspired idea.