The National Defense Education Act of 1958: Selected Outcomes

December, 2005
IDA document: D-3306
FFRDC: Science and Technology Policy Institute
Type: Documents
Pamela Ebert Flattau, Jerome Bracken, Richard Van Atta, Ayeh Bandeh-Ahmadi, Rodolfo de la Cruz, Kay Sullivan See more authors
The National Defense Education Act of 1958 (P.L. 85-864) represented an important step in the expansion of education opportunities for those interested in pursuing careers in the sciences, mathematics, or foreign languages. In 2005, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) asked the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) to examine the effects of NDEA on increasing the Nations science and technology capabilities, with emphasis on its effect in promoting the growth of the teaching workforce. Using available data and historical texts, STPI studied 4 of the 10 major NDEA provisions: Loans to Students in Institutions of Higher Learning (Title II); Financial Assistance for Strengthening Science, Mathematics, and Modern Language Instruction (Title III); National Defense Fellowships (Title IV); and Guidance, Counseling, and Testing: Identification and Encouragement of Able Students (Title IV). These four NDEA Titles contributed to general upward trends during the years that they were in force. Their provisions also contributed to broad socioeconomic changes in the United States because they enabled students from a wider range of income levels to attend and finish college.