New York Governor Proposes Free College For Lower-Income Students

The entire plan is expected to cost $163 million per year once it is fully implemented.

-For thousands of NY students, the new year may bring a huge gift: free college.

"The governor's proposal recognizes public higher education as the gateway to the American dream, that a college education is a necessity, and that student debt is a problem we all must solve". By the final year, NY students would be eligible if their families earn $125,000 or less annually. "In this economy, you need a college education if you're going to compete". Sanders, the United States once boasted the largest number of college graduates some thirty years ago.

It would also redesign internal roadways to eliminate bottlenecks, centralize parking lots and revamp amenities, Cuomo said at a luncheon sponsored by the Association for a Better New York, a development industry group.

On Jan. 3, Cuomo shared his proposal at LaGuardia Community College in Queens alongside U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, who has been a proponent for free tuition and campaigned for it in the 2016 presidential race, according to a press release.

Yet while free college makes an easy-to-grasp political soundbite, the details of putting together such a program are far more complex.

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When asked what, specifically, he knew about the situation that others did not, he said he would reveal that next week. And the third thought "If I had one of those, I would have been here in 30 seconds".


"Mr. Cuomo hopes for a quick start for his idea, with a three-year rollout beginning in the fall, though it will require legislative approval, a potential snag when the governor and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been at odds over a pay raise and other issues", the Times says.

It's unclear whether Senate Republicans will back Cuomo's plan.

While New York has need-based tuition awards, those tap out at $5,165 per school year.

"The day will come where we understand that public education in America is not simply kindergarten through high school, but that public education in 2017 means making public colleges and public universities tuition free", Sanders said.

Additional states have free-tuition legislation in the works and are no doubt watching NY closely.

EQUAL CHANCE Opinion: Schools should do more to ensure low-income students are given a fair shot to enter gifted programs, writes Harold Levy, a former chancellor of New York City schools. Current full-time resident tuition is $6,470 at four-year SUNY colleges and $6,330 at four-year CUNY colleges.

  • Sidney Guerrero