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

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Clinton advocated for free tuition in her campaign, after the idea was first proposed by her rival Democratic Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders.

NY will be the first state to offer free college tuition to students after state Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday. Bernie Sanders wave at the audience as they arrive onstage at an event at LaGuardia Community College, in NY for the announcement of Cuomo's proposal for free tuition at state colleges.

NY will be the first state in the U.S.to provide free tuition to students attending public colleges and universities. "This is going to cost money, and it will make some parents happy, but I don't see it moving the accessibility needle".

AT an event on Monday, Cuomo and his budget director, Robert Mujica, who is also on CUNY's Board of Trustees, defended the requirement to live and work in NY and other aspects of the scholarship, which is expected to cost $87 million in its first year, the 2017-2018 school year, and $163 million by its third. Right now, the qualified family income for aspiring beneficiaries is at $100, which would later widen to $110 and $125 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Of course, it goes without saying that tuition is hardly the only variable in the cost of attending a modern American college, and the scholarship is not without its caveats. Perhaps of more concern, the requirement that recipients remain in state is not only largely unenforceable but patently unfair. If students move out of the state the scholarship is converted to a loan to be repaid.

This action is likely to hurt the bottom line for many private institutions like Utica College, which rely heavily on income from student tuition.

That aspect of college education is being addressed in California.

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.

"Here in Pennsylvania, institutionally, state government has been pretty cheap about its support for post-secondary education", he said. It is about public and private partnerships working to create a pipeline of highly educated and highly motivated students, starting in the ninth grade taking the required classes, then easing them into the higher education environment. More than one-third of CUNY students are part-time. It would entail following two key steps.

But how can politicians voting to make other people pay for the college experiences of young people mean that anyone cares?

Even in Germany, where a generous welfare state is valued, per-pupil spending has dropped by 10 percent since universities became free. Otherwise, we will be known as the state that likes to start initiatives and never commit to completing them.

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Those funds would be available to students whose families earn up to $145,000 per year.

Take a family making $21,000 per year.

There also is a symmetry in this relationship that bears telling. Students can not take a break after high school.

However, Williams added, "We regret the enacted budget does not adequately consider the independent sector and increase already successful programs - like TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) and HEOP (Higher Education Opportunity Program) - that greatly expand access and opportunity for students". So it would be up to state officials to decide the appropriate balance between tuition subsidies and financial aid.

There are plenty of caveats: the scholarships are "last dollar" funding, meaning students have to max out other state and federal grants first.

SUNY estimated that one-fifth of its undergraduates, or 80,000 students, would qualify for the program, based on the numbers who attend full time and graduate within four years.

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

It's some of the other strings attached that worry us.

But because lawmakers are afraid to tax anybody or anything, says Cowell, higher education has suffered. Is there an expectation for public schools to lower costs? The answer, however, is not to make public higher education tuition-free. The governor did nothing to dispel that impression when he invited the Vermont senator to deliver an endorsement of the plan when it was first rolled out at a Queens College rally on January 3.

What the provision does is further limit the number of students it will help, which is the exact opposite of its intent.

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