Special Reports

Why Can’t College Be Free: Reasons fWhy Free Tuition Is Not The Answer To Financial Problems In Education


It was in the headlines last month how New York wanted to make college free, specifically for individuals or families with annual incomes of less than $125,000. Rhode Island was also about to indulge in a similar plan to offer free college for most citizens, but many critics opposed and questioned these proposals.

Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a budget plan that will offer free-tuition to public colleges only for students whose families earn $125,000 a year or less, according to MarketWatch. This plan was questioned and raised concerns about the increase of tuition for the students who do not qualify for the program.

Cuomo explained the reason for his plan and said that since college is a necessity, they want to provide the opportunity for the New Yorkers to succeed, regardless of where they come from and without having the burden of student after they graduate, Forbes reported. However, the plan does not promise to secure funds for college's mandatory increases.

New York is one of the many states that have the cut funding to post-secondary education since the recession and schools have been pushed to largely depend their revenue on increasing tuition and fees. And the proposals raised to make college free during the election for president aims to reverse the trend by capitalizing on federal dollars to urge states to reinvest in public educational institutions.

Without the funding from the feds, students who are not going to be eligible for the $125,000 cap will have to be burdened by the extra $250 for the tuition. Students who also cannot commit to attend school full time will also not be eligible because free college will only be given to those whose goals are to graduate from a four-year degree.

This means that free college will not really be able to address the biggest barriers that many students, especially the low income students, face to get through college successfully. Simply providing the free funding for college does not necessarily add more money to college reserves.

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