Cuomo, Hillary Make College 'Free' in New York...With Caveats

Cuomo, Hillary Make College 'Free' in New York...With Caveats

Cuomo, Hillary Make College 'Free' in New York...With Caveats

But he also presides over a state, like all states, where many students don't complete college and where many are unprepared for the information economy.

"I think it's pretty cool", he said of that state's action.

FILE - In this April 12, 2017 file photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Hillary Clinton applauds as Gov. Cuomo speaks from the podium at LaGuardia Community College in the Queens borough of NY during a ceremonial bill signing of the a first-in-the nation free tuition plan for students from middle-class families.

In this Saturday, April 15, 2017 photo, people walk across campus at Queens College in NY, where new legislation would allow some students to attend tuition-free.

Mr. Cuomo's new Excelsior scholarships, included in the recently passed ny state budget, require students to live and work in the Empire State for as many years following graduation as they received the scholarship. It would do this by providing enough state grant aid to offset tuition costs after other aid such as Pell Grants has been taken into account.

"By ensuring our highly-skilled, highly-qualified students live and work in-state for the number of years they received the Excelsior Scholarship, we are guaranteeing this investment pays dividends right here at home", said education department spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer. NY has already appropriated $87 million for the program's first year.

The theory behind investing in students and their education is that they will be the educated workforce that attracts businesses to NY. But several key concerns suggest its approach is not the way to go.

There are plenty of caveats: the scholarships are "last dollar" funding, meaning students have to max out other state and federal grants first. What happens if military service takes you out of NY for a year?

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins noted that one of the biggest failures was on ethics reform, which was under the microscope after the leaders of both houses of the Legislature were convicted on corruption charges in the previous year.

The formidable cost of living associated with California acts as a barrier for higher education as it does in NY.

For one, Portland Press Herald noted that the plan would only cover the basic tuition fees in in-state public colleges for full-time students. NY can do better.

Florida isn't on-deck to replace its financial aid system.

An unspecified GPA must be maintained - one that would indicate the student is on the path to finish the degree. It would entail following two key steps.

"I'm very concerned about that, and I think the cost difference between those who have to pay and those don't will cause students to look around", she said. Now the state spends over $1 billion on college financial assistance but it has a brain-drain problem.

"Tuition is only about one-third the cost of attendance, so the $6,370 that the Excelsior Scholarship covers is critical, but it's really important to remember that it won't take students all the way", Ms. Esterberg said. Students, both new and existing, can apply. The program was adopted by the Legislature on April 9 and signed by the governor April 10 as part of the 2017-2018 state budget.

New Yorkers' "free tuition" comes at another price - their freedom. Nor is it truly free education. The tuition-free argument also discounts the fact that, in looking around the country and the world, low or no tuition usually results in greater inequities in enrollment. Companies or nonprofits can invest in a student's education in exchange for a share of their income in the future.

Tramuta also stated that had the bill been implemented earlier, a total of 2,500 students would have benefited from the Excelsior Scholarship for the 2016-17 school year. We wonder what happens if the program is "successful" in drawing more students than projected into the SUNY system.

The Trump administration's recent backing away from various consumer protections put in place by the Obama administration is another bad sign of moving to the extremes rather than seeking out the middle course.

These private colleges tend to have smaller classes, they tend to do a better job of graduating their students and they tend to spend heavily to subsidize poorer students.

Only 26.1 percent of Ohio's population holds a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to the 89.1 percent that have a high school education or equivalent.

This raises questions such as "What makes a public university public?"

Related news