New York Approves Free College Tuition In A Game-Changing Move

Starting this fall, undergraduate students who attend a two or four-year public college in NY will be eligible for free tuition if their families earn no more than $100,000 a year.

The Excelsior Scholarship Program is being touted as the first of its kind in the United States.

The Excelsior Scholarship would grant free tuition to students whose families make less than $100,000 dollars. That salary will increase to $125,000 by the year 2019. For many of us, free college tuition will immensely lighten the financial burden we will face after we graduate.

For someone who went to community college, it means they'll have to remain in NY for two years.

But there is a lot of unmet need even with New York's new program, so there's still a lot of room for philanthropy around it to help students cover books, living expenses, et cetera. "That's what they spend when they go to Starbucks, when they go into the village, when they go to Wegmans, what their parents spend when they stay at local hotels, it's what traveling teams spend".

"I still believe the benefits outweigh the costs, and hope that this program will spread to other states", Hanna said.

College tuition just got a whole lot more affordable in NY state.

I enjoyed Patrick Lohmann's article, "Do You Qualify for New York's Free Tuition Program?". Students must be enrolled full-time and finish their two- or four-year programs on time. Bernie Sanders' (D-VA) $75 billion plan, making all public universities completely free and covered by taxing the rich, will be disappointed by these preconditions.

The students will have to keep a certain grade point average and will also be required to live and work in NY state for the same amount of time that they benefit from scholarship grants (if they attend a four-year college, they must work in the state for four years).

While I think this is a great start, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has only scratched the surface of limited college access in NY state. The Excelsior Scholarship is limited to families making less than $100,000 in 2017.

But Goldrick-Rab, the author of the recent book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, called the provision that students must live and work in NY a "poison pill" by limiting mobility, among other factors. Casamento has also scheduled a town hall meeting for Tuesday, May 9 at 2 p.m.in the Strebel Auditorium, to share with the Utica College community how they will be affected and what actions will need to be made. There's no evidence that brain drain should be a big concern for New York State. Plus, it's hard to picture a statewide program that would be privately funded-I just don't know that many rich people [who] would want to send everybody in their state to college. "However, I don't think it's a great idea because when you don't have to pay for schooling, you might not try as hard". The governor's office said it expects it to cost $163 million in the first year, before it's fully phased in. Before that, he said, " You couldn't even get politicians to talk about it".

I do acknowledge that the money for college has to come from somewhere and that somewhere being tax payer money.

Senate Republicans pushed for the work and residency requirements.

  • Zachary Reyes