What a Biden Presidency Means For US College Admissions

09 NOV 2020

A message from Crimson CEO, Jamie Beaton.

Dear Crimson Community,

There is no doubt the past 5 days have been wrought with a mixture of emotions. This week’s US election has captured the attention of the world, as votes came in, in record numbers, and the tallies were calculated slowly and deliberately day by day, state by state.

As a company dedicated to making sure that every student, no matter their place of birth or circumstance, has access to the best education the world has to offer, we have of course been watching the election closely. More importantly we have been analysing how this change of government will affect both our current application year students and alumni, and just as importantly, those younger high school students, who have the dream of studying at some of the best universities in the world.

As such we would like to share a few of these insights here in the hope the below will provide some clarity as to what this means to you and your families and the educational and professional possibilities for international students ahead.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly at this time, the US will see a change in the approach as to how it is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. President Elect Biden, who has run a campaign based on social distancing and the wearing of masks, has made it clear he will abide by the recommendations of scientists, his ‘7 Point Plan to Beat COVID-19’ including: the doubling of easy-access testing, the introduction of mask mandates and a $25billion investment in vaccine fast-tracking and development. For students, ideally this will mean the slowing of the pandemic, the re-opening of campuses and the reestablishment of science as the key driver of health and safety measures in the US as a whole.

For our international students, a Biden administration will most likely mean a return to international cooperation and more specifically study and work visa access to students and young professionals around the world. In 2020, the Trump administration made a number of moves to narrow: new international student travel criteria, eligibility requirements for certain international visas relating to the recruitment of foreign employees, and the extension of international student visas beyond four years. A Biden administration should revoke any such proposals. President Elect Biden, in response to the Trump administration’s July proposal to limit F1 student visa access to internationals studying at ‘all-online’ universities commenting: “Across the world, people come to this country with unrelenting optimism and determination toward the future. They study here, innovate here, they make America who we are.”

In line with this change will come an invigoration of an environment of competitiveness of international students - both pre and post admission. International students will be able to compete on a global stage as applicants, undergraduate students, researchers, postgraduate contenders and future world leading company employees. These changes will be in line with a return to globalism over nationalism, and efforts to improve the US’s reputation as part of a global economic community. Moreover the change in government is seen as an opportunity for the US to re-build relationships with international governments and communities via trade, international organisations, environmental accords and the general exchange of ideas as a whole.

US-China relationships have become more tense over the last several years with attempts to block key technology companies like Tencent, Bytedance and Huawei. The Biden presidency will return this dynamic to one of mutual respect. Inevitably the world’s two great superpowers won’t agree on everything, but they will certainly agree on the sharing of brilliant minds for the betterment of society. They will also have a more stable, consistent relationship less prone to shocks and confusion. The success of initiatives in the academic world that have fostered US-China relationships like the Schwarzman Scholars program is a good example of the promising outlook ahead.

Finally, the incoming administration which ran a campaign based on unity over division, will positively impact domestic social stability and international trust. The symbolism of America's first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president will further act as an inspiration to female students - both domestic and international - to seize the opportunities they deserve.

We appreciate the recent days, weeks, months and perhaps even years have been unsettling times for many of our international community, and we look forward to supporting our former, current and prospective students in achieving their highest goals ideally in a new environment of increased cooperation and international opportunity.

Most importantly, we wish you a safe, happy and successful end to 2020 and a year of renewed opportunity, exceptional achievements and inspirational university acceptances in 2021 and beyond.


Jamie Beaton

Crimson Education Co-founder and CEO