- Biden vowed to crack down on colleges that cause student-debt to spiral.
- This came alongside his announcement of up to $20,000 in federal student-loan forgiveness.
- He called out Trump for failing to hold for-profit colleges accountable for misleading students.
President Joe Biden may have announced "one-time" broad student-loan forgiveness, but it's not the end of the road.
While the White House confirmed last week's announcement of up to $20,000 in student-loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and other federal borrowers will be the only blanket student-loan relief borrowers will be getting, it also detailed plans to continue tackling student debt and higher education costs after debt cancellation is implemented.
"As a part of my announcement to get relief to Americans with student debt, I'm holding colleges accountable for jacking up costs without delivering value to students," Biden wrote on Twitter on Monday. "My predecessor looked the other way. My Administration is taking them on."
—President Biden (@POTUS) August 29, 2022
"We've terminated college accreditors that allowed colleges – like ITT and Corinthian – to defraud borrowers," he added. "@usedgov will also publish an annual list of colleges that leave students with unmanageable debt so that students can avoid these programs."
According to a White House fact sheet on Biden's loan forgiveness, the Education Department will "also propose a rule to hold career programs accountable for leaving their graduates with mountains of debt they cannot repay, a rule the previous Administration repealed."
The colleges Biden referred to are largely for-profit institutions that have been scrutinized over misleading students and causing them to take on more debt than they can afford to pay off. Leading up to Biden's broad student-loan forgiveness, the Education Department took a number of steps to help those students by approving borrower defense claims — claims a borrower can file if they believe they were defrauded by a for-profit school — that ran up a backlog under former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Most recently, for example, the department approved group discharges for remaining students that went to ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian Colleges, two of the biggest for-profit players accused of defrauding its students. In addition, as the president referenced, the department stripped ACICS — the agency that accredited for-profits like ITT — of its federal status, making a move to enforce stricter guidelines over institutions that allocate federal student aid.
While the department has called out the previous administration for failing to implement meaningful relief for student-loan borrowers, DeVos would beg to differ. After Biden's announcement last week, she called the move "100% illegal," citing the memo she produced for former President Donald Trump that concluded he did not have the authority to cancel student debt.
Still, Biden and his administration maintain the legal standing is there, and they will continue pursuing reforms to higher education through the regulatory rulemaking process.