New York's Free Tuition For Some Students Gets Blowback

Posted April 18, 2017

We won't be very productive in the economy if we have an entire generation that is tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

After graduation, scholarship recipients must live and work in NY for as many years as they received a tuition award. "The Excelsior Scholarships are a step in the right direction, but oversold as unburdening students from college expenses and debt", he told The Chief.

The bachelor's degree is the new high school diploma as most decent paying jobs require at minimum a bachelor's.

There's a big effect for moving or working out of state. "This is seen as a way to ensure that NY taxpayers reap their investment in the form of a more educated workforce".

"The state with the most educated workforce is the state that is going to succeed long term, from an economic development point of view", Governor Andrew Cuomo said this week at a press event.

"Give me your exhausted, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", but once you arrive in NY, don't dare try moving somewhere else, or Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be chasing you to take back your college scholarship money.

It's also an administrative burden for the program itself to figure out who leaves, when they leave, turning the grant into a loan and attempting to collect payments-that sounds like a giant headache.

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Some of the concern, though, may be unfounded.

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. But they'll have to return to NY eventually.

Along with those requirements and accountability measures, Tramuta also mentioned that in the event students do not meet the requirements for reasons other than certain exceptions (military, illness, etc.), the scholarship is then taken away, and students can not get it back.

A wide-open entitlement truly offering "free" higher education for the majority of middle-class NY high school grads would have been a massive budget-buster. More students will be able to obtain four-year degrees, and they will be able to earn more after graduation because they will be able to get better jobs, and they will pay back some of those earnings in taxes.

The post-grad requirement to live and work in state was added later to the governor's initial proposal.

Called the Excelsior Scholarship after the state slogan, the initiative will enable an estimated 210,000 more students to attend college.

"New York as a state - along with New Jersey and CT - has one of the worst property tax burdens in the entire United States of America", he stated. "This destructive provision needs to be quickly repealed", Skoufis said in a statement.

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It's not unusual for scholarships to come with expectations - a friend of mine attended college on an Army ROTC scholarship, and repaid it by serving in the military. And to improve college completion, the underfunded state universities that educate the bulk of the nation's at-risk students need more resources. Which means those hoping the residency requirement will curtail upstate's brain drain are likely to be disappointed.

NANCY L. Zimpher, SUNY's departing chancellor, said the program's emphasis on expanding eligibility was "innovative" and could be a "breakthrough".

The number of students eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship varies by region.

The Excelsior Scholarship will only be for first-time traditional college students who have just graduated from high school.

Jacob Hanna, a freshman at SUNY Binghamton University, said the scholarship will be a "boon" for him and his family, but is a little concerned about having to work in-state after graduating.

"Campuses are still reeling from drastic state aid cuts to SUNY during the Great Recession, which is why the passage of the MOE is welcome and necessary", said Kowal.

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