Will free college offer catch fire? NY details raise doubts

Erica Roy
April 18, 2017

"I haven't seen an editorial endorsement in the Times that actually represented what happened in an election in a long time", Cuomo said. 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. Cuomo was USA housing secretary in the administration of former President Bill Clinton before winning office as NY attorney general and then governor, the position his father, the late Mario Cuomo, held when he himself considered a run for the Oval Office.

He was particularly critical of New York's "last-dollar" tuition-only setup, which would keep costs relatively low — an estimated $163 million a year — by paying the tuition only after awards from state and federal sources are applied.

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. Tennessee and OR already offer free in-state tuition at community colleges. They'll qualify for a $5,920 Pell Grant from Washington and a $4,000 need-based Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Grant from New York State. Those requirements vary across disciplines, degree programs and across the SUNY system from campus to campus.

"This is great news for our children's futures and local property taxpayers, and the unprecedented investment will ensure that our kids receive the highest quality learning opportunities", said Senator Cathy Young in a press release. They also question the plan not addressing other college costs beyond tuition.

Mr. Zumeta and his co-author, Nick Huntington-Klein, an assistant professor of economics at California State University at Fullerton, concluded that for a significant number of students, $1,000 in additional state aid would do the trick.

"I mean obviously I would love to have my fifth year of college paid for", says Farwell. Students from families making $50,000 or less wouldn't benefit because their tuition is already covered by other programs.

The film incentives had been set to expire in 2019, but the budget extended the program for three more years, at a cost of more than $1.2 billion. Graduate students are not eligible. Cuomo was joined by Hillary Clinton to sign the legislation at LaGuardia Community College Wednesday.

Don't mistake that for some notion of balance in the Excelsior Scholarship program.

Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, which represents City University of NY faculty, said in a statement that the organization's members "welcome any measure that makes college more affordable". The governor's office estimates that almost one million state residents will eventually benefit from the new program.

Mr. Cuomos college scholarships are ostensibly meant to help students by unshackling them from onerous debt. That component is vital, as it would provide an effective safety net for students whose families lack the necessary resources.

Their report ranks countries by their tax wedge percentage.

Perhaps he will ask New York's representatives in Congress to pass a "Fugitive Scholarship-Winner Act", compelling to other states to capture and return any scholarship victor who ventures beyond New York's boundaries.

"Right now they're saying tuition will cost $200 extra per year", she said. It's the hope of proponents such as Bernie Sanders and Clinton, who made debt-free college a key talking point in their Democratic presidential campaigns, that New York's first-in-the-nation free tuition program for middle-class students will spread to other states.

"I think it will be a tremendous incentive to help stem the brain drain from NY state and particularly the North Country", she said.

It's going to fundamentally transform New Yorkers' wallets too. "But without increased public investment in CUNY, Excelsior can not achieve its full potential". "You entice people with something they really, really need and then you penalise them if they can't find a decent job and have to leave".

"That will make this place a better place and this scholarship program is going to transform lives", the governor predicted.

"Obviously I disagree", Cuomo said.

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