Winners (and Losers) in New York's Plan to Make College Free

NYS Assemblyman James Skoufis

Lydia O'Connor expressed the concern of The Huffington Post when she wrote that the "free tuition" doesn't cover enough students from "low-income" families.

"Students are not going to plan for future debt because they're going to think they don't have any", said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a Temple University expert on college affordability issues.

News coverage of the proposal generated the kind of headlines the governor no doubt hoped for - bolstering his claim of having sponsored a bold "first in the nation" program for students from families earning gross incomes up to $125,000.

Will tuition go up for those who don't get the scholarship?

The legislation passed in NY does have several catches, one of the worst being that you would have to live in NY for up to two years after attaining an associate's degree and up to four years post bachelor's degree.

Any student and family that can take advantage of this opportunity should do so without hesitation.

What does it mean, indeed - especially for current, future and prospective State University of NY at Fredonia students. While Demos applauds NY for the program, she said in a statement that the organization thinks the state could do more to help students graduate debt-free.

I was able to escape the state without devastating personal financial consequences, which is more than can be said for the Excelsior indentured servants, er, "scholarship recipients".

Like the Excelsior Scholarship, this plan comes with some strings attached.

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But even as higher education experts applaud the concept of free tuition, they question finer points of New York's plan and whether it's a model that should be replicated elsewhere.

"It reduces the pool of work that would be available to me once I graduate, and in an ever competitive job market, that worries me", Hanna said. Even adult students that did not attend college are eligible for free tuition.

The report's authors claim that money that would be spent expanding the use of already-crowded public colleges could be better spent by helping to pay the tuition expenses for students at private colleges, which are often comparatively underutilized.

Well, the heavy-hitting politicians in the state of NY couldn't let San Fran be the only collectivist hodgepodge to mess with this bad idea.

But because lawmakers are afraid to tax anybody or anything, says Cowell, higher education has suffered. 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.

The FY 2018 budget provides $7.5 billion in support for higher education, a $448 million, or 6.3 percent, increase from previous year. Ultimately, to be successful, higher education financing reforms must address underlying cost pressures rather than accept them as a fact of life. This scheme is believed to cater up to 32,000 students a year.

There are more qualifications, but community colleges do count. "The idea is that we wanted to produce more bachelor's degrees, and states have limited resources", the lead author, William M. Zumeta, a professor of public policy and higher education at the University of Washington, said in an interview on Thursday. Current SUNY and CUNY students will be eligible for the scholarship beginning in the fall 2017 semester.

"They have paved the way for other states to go forward, for the federal government to go forward to make public colleges and universities tuition free", the Vermont senator said in an interview with The Associated Press. New, current and transfer students can apply for the scholarship, but graduate students cannot. It's much more likely that you'll see that at the local level. I think they should continue working on the scholarship to make it better over time.

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