Other US States Commend NY’s Tuition-Free College But May Not Adopt It [Video}By Khaleb Skye A. Cruz, UniversityHerald Reporter
Although a lot of education experts praise the concept, they doubt that the New York (NY) free college plan will work in other states. Nevertheless, former presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have high hopes for it. Sanders and Clinton have made debt-free college a key point during their campaigns.
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has put that dream into reality. He even called the project a "model for the nation". However, for now, critics have been questioning the Excelsior Scholarship program's finer points. Thus, the next step for Cuomo and the educational institutions in NY is to prove that the pioneering project will work.
For one, Portland Press Herald noted that the plan would only cover the basic tuition fees in in-state public colleges for full-time students. 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. This scheme is believed to cater up to 32,000 students a year.
Nevertheless, some experts worry that this plan is still doing very little to help the neediest students. They say that other educational aids are already covering the tuition fees of a lot of students. Therefore, they need more assistance in miscellaneous fees, housing, and food allowances.
Moreover, per ABC News, the NY Excelsior Scholarship program requires graduates to stay in the state to work after they have finished their four-year courses. If they refuse to do so, then they have to pay back their whole college tuition fees. With this in mind, a lot of critics see the plan as a hindrance to better job opportunities elsewhere.
For her part, Nancy Zimpher, the Chancellor of the State University of New York, said that the issue might be exaggerated. Zimpher stressed that requiring the students to work in NY for inclusive development is never a problem. To back her claims, she noted that about 85 percent of graduates from state universities "stay in New York after graduation anyway."