Direct federal student loan spending began to rise rapidly in fiscal year 2010, when the Health Care & Education Reconciliation Act gave the fed. gov't complete control over fed. loans for education, the Direct Student Loan (DL) program. This aspect of HCERA became effective July 1, 2010, when the amount of outstanding loans stood at $178,806,000,000. Since then, the balance has increased by 277 percent.[sarc] should have read it BEFORE passing it 'huh Speople?& merely the 'tip of the iceberg'