Will free college offer catch fire? NY details raise doubts

Will free college offer catch fire? NY details raise doubts

The program covers tuition - which is now $6,470 at four-year SUNY schools - but not fees, dorms, meal plans or textbooks.

New York City has 461,499 families with college-age students, with 84.3 percent eligible.

New York's plan would cover in-state public college tuition for full-time students whose families earn $125,000 or less. Their family income can not exceed $100,000 a year, although that figure will eventually rise to $125,000. The income limit will be raised to $125,000 in two years.

"I still believe the benefits outweigh the costs, and hope that this program will spread to other states", Hanna said. Cuomo estimates that New York's tuition-free scholarship program will benefit about 32,000 students at SUNY colleges.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state of NY now have taken this idea one step farther by enacting Excelsior Scholarships that will make public higher education tuition-free for state residents whose family income falls below specified levels. Student 1 graduates with $37,000 in student loan debt, while student 2 finishes college debt free.

"I think that because it is a new concept, and everyone is still trying to work out the details ... They go through a lot of contortions to make their case, but at the end of the day, common sense will prevail". The legislature may find future tuition increases more palatable than raising state appropriations, because "only wealthy families" would be forced to pay the extra tuition. We also noted that nothing was "free", and that taxpayers were going to be forced to pay for the whole she-bang.

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"So we have transfer programs", he says. Our advisors talk to students about getting out of here in four years. Likewise, the mandate that students stay in NY for as many years as they were funded by an Excelsior Scholarship is a poison pill that reduces the value of the program for many students. Taking advantage of this program means that a NY state resident could complete college debt free. Students also have to be enrolled full time. And then there are those books that they need. Then we have departmental scholarships...

The free college tuition movement neatly aligns two forces.

Participation in the program involves a collaborative partnership with Lackawanna High School, Erie 1 BOCES and the Catholic Health System. "During these times of anxiety and uncertainty, NY will continue to lead the nation forward". The dollar amount of the Excelsior can not exceed $5,500. It wasn't as expensive a proposition as it sounds; tuition is relatively low to begin with ($6,470 at the University at Albany), and the scholarship would cover any gap remaining after other aid. My ears piqued as I counted the number of college payments left until my youngest daughter-now a college junior-finishes school and is off the Bassman payroll. This new program forcefully tells all families under the income threshold that their list price is zero, which could ease their concerns over the financial burden of sending their children to college.

"We look forward to further expanding our support of students and their families as a result of this budget agreement", Stanley said. "As the program grows and reforms occur, one of the first priorities must be to expand it to include at least some part-time students".

"While it is very hard to predict the specific impact this will have on JCC's enrollment, the prospect of free tuition is very exciting and we look forward to helping as many people as possible to take advantage of the significant benefits that come with the acquisition of a college degree", K Young said. The researchers set out to study how much more a student would have to be offered before he or she would choose a private college over a comparable public one.

Cuomo did not really address the substance of the arguments.

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