There is a simple reason why the federal government gives out plenty of student loans and considerably less grants for people to go to college, and it has nothing to do with educating people.
Citizens of the 99 percent acquire student loans to pay for their education. Our political and business leaders encourage us to this, even as they enact treaties that send US jobs that require college degrees overseas. Meanwhile, the lenders (banks) of student loans sell them to Wall Street investment firms, which then slice and dice the loans. Bonds backed by the loans are then sold to investors. who are almost always members of the one percent. In effect, the government is encouraging citizens to spend a potential lifetime as indentured servants to the one percent via student loans, otherwise they would provide more grants and discourage citizens of the 99 percent from taking out the loans. In other words, student loans are an income redistribution scam.