How Biden could change higher education

Under President Joe Biden, higher education is poised to face a slew of changes in the coming months and years.

Campus Reform identified how higher education could change under the Biden-Harris administration.

Below are just some of the potential changes.

Student loan debt

President Joe Biden has instructed the Department of Education to continue its pause on student loan repayments through September 2021. Former President Donald Trump had already enacted a similar pause extending through January 2021.

Regarding student loan cancellation, the president has expressed his desire to cancel at least $10,000 per borrower. However, Biden is facing pressure from progressive politicians to go even further. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have called on the president to cancel up to $50,000 per borrower via executive order.

Title IX

In 2020, the Trump administration reversed the Obama-era Title IX rules. The federal law protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities. The new rules required schools to offer an equal right of appeal for both parties.

In 2018, Devos announced the department would review Title IX, but changes took effect nationwide in 2020. Critics said the new Trump administration rules provided the accused with too many rights. For instance, students at Georgetown University said the changes would “discourage survivors from coming forward.” However, proponents of the Trump administration’s actions said the changes ensured due process. 


Biden’s campaign website stated that he will work to ensure Dreamers, young adults who came to the U.S. as children, can go to community college for up to two years without paying tuition. Additionally, students who want a Bachelor’s degree could transfer to a four-year school, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions. In a federal-state partnership, 75 percent of the cost would be covered and contributing states would be responsible for the remainder.

Likewise, the president, in a slew of new legislative proposals, calls for exempting those who earn PhDs from American universities from visa limits. According to the Boston University Federal Relations team, this would make U.S. study more “more attractive, as the pathway to remaining in this country would become clearer.”


Biden’s campaign website states his commitment to investing in the country’s “most pressing problems.” The Biden administration plans to invest $10 billion to create nearly 200 new centers of excellence for research on issues such as climate change, inequality, health disparities, globalization, and cancer.  and to simultaneously provide work-study opportunities.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JezzamineWolk