New York makes college tuition free In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Red Room at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File/AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
New York makes college tuition free
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There's a big string attached to New York's free middle-class college tuition initiative. Students must stay in the state after graduation or else pay back the benefit.
 
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the requirement was added to protect the state's investment in a student's education. The requirement ensures they don't take advantage of free tuition and then leave New York. The rule wasn't a part of Cuomo's free college tuition proposal when he unveiled it in January. It was inserted during final negotiations with lawmakers over the state budget.
 
The tuition initiative, which Cuomo said is a national model, covers state college or university tuition for in-state students from families earning $125,000 or less. Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit. They must repay the money as a loan if they take a job in another state.
 
"Why should New Yorkers pay for your college education and then you pick up and you move to California?" Cuomo said during a call with state editorial writers. "The concept of investing in you and your education is that you're going to stay here and be an asset to the state. If you don't want to stay here, then go to California now. Let them pay for your college education."
 
Students at University at Albany, part of the state university system, aren't so sure.
 
"I don't know how much I like feeling confined, even to staying in the state for four more years," said Bobby Rickard. He is an 18-year-old freshman from Brewster who has not yet decided his major. "I don't know what life will have for me."
 
Cumorah Reed, a 19-year-old English major, said certain technology jobs are concentrated on the West Coast. She said many of her classmates will be surprised to learn they will not be able to apply for those positions immediately after graduation.
 
"I think it's going to be harder than people think," Reed said.
 
Ashley Mendez, 18, a journalism and communications major, said the proposal is a fair compromise because many residents will stay anyway.
 
"I'm a New Yorker. I wouldn't leave the state for anything," Mendez said.
 
Sara Goldrick-Rab, a Temple University professor who studies college affordability, said the requirement undercuts the promise of free tuition and could deliver a nasty shock to students who fail to read the fine print. Or it could surprise the ones who take the money believing they will stay in New York, only to find better job opportunities elsewhere.
 
"It's absolutely bait and switch," she said. "You entice people with something they really, really need and then you penalize them if they can't find a decent job and have to leave."
 
Republican lawmakers pushed for the requirement during closed-door state budget negotiations.
 
"We took the governor's original plan and made it better, by requiring students to maintain a certain GPA and to live and work in New York after they graduate," said Scott Reif. He is a spokesman for the Senate's Republican leadership.
 
Students who receive free tuition and then leave the state for an advanced degree won't have to pay the money back assuming they return to New York once they complete their graduate studies. State officials also plan to make accommodations for graduates who leave the state for military service.
 
As part of the budget, lawmakers also approved a new tuition assistance program for students at private colleges and universities that offers up to $3,000 in tuition grants. That assistance also comes with a requirement that a student remain in New York after graduation for the same number of years they received the benefit.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What if college were free in all 50 states?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (14)
  • hlindsay-dav
    4/19/2017 - 08:41 p.m.

    In response to "New York makes college tuition free," I agree that colleges are providing free tuition. One reason I agree is that some people are less fortunate than others but still want their kids or themselves to have a good education. Another reason is that colleges are very expensive to get in to so this will help future students out a lot. It says in the article "The tuition initiative, which Cuomo said is a national model, covers state college or university tuition for in-state students from families earning $125,000 or less." A third reason is that sadly some people don't go to college and get a good education because it is too expensive so this would solve that problem. Even though you have to stay in the state for as long as you attended the college, I think this is a very good idea.

  • ochristina-dav
    4/20/2017 - 03:51 p.m.

    In response to "New York makes college tuition free," I personally think that this is a good deal for those whose families earn $125,000 or less, as stated in the article. Some colleges cost a lot per year enrolled and this free college plan can make things a lot easier for those who happen to be more poor. With working in the state for the number of years you spent in the college, it can help pay back the state for your tuition by working, which can help the state's economy and/or more. Some proof is, "The concept of investing in you and your education is that you're going to stay here and be an asset to the state." New York, on the other hand, is a busy state on certain circumstances and many jobs could already be taken when you try to get one. However, there are many different areas of the state and as long as you stay in New York, your tuition will be paid for, so there still might be a good job open; it could be just that those who insist they can't find a job are not looking far enough. Also, a good part of this plan is that on certain circumstances, people who enrolled at the free colleges can still leave, "State officials also plan to make accommodations for graduates who leave the state for military service." Many people may not agree with this New York plan, but I think it may be extremely beneficial to both the state and people who can not pay for college, at the same time.

  • mskyler-dav
    4/20/2017 - 06:21 p.m.

    In response to "New York Makes College Tuition Free," I agree that it is good for students not have to pay tution and spend so much money. One reason I disagree is that if you decide to take the free tution, you will have to stay in New York after graduation. Another reason I agree is that some people are not as fortune it as others to have money so those people will need it. It says in the article "You entice people with something they really, really need and then you penalize them if they can't find a decent job and have to leave.". A third reason I disagree s that what if you can't fnd a job in New York after graduation or if you get offered a better job out of New York. If you have four more years of it left after you graduate you have to stay in New York for that many years. If you leave that state better it is up then you have you have to pay it. Even though its a really good thing, I think if I have the choice of doing it, I would not because life is unexpected, it is not planned.

  • hella-dav
    4/20/2017 - 09:01 p.m.

    This article is about New York making college tuition free, but there's some fine print. Once you get out of college however long you went to college you have to stay in New York for exactly that long. Apparently by these students staying in the state after it is helping the state, but hurting the college students. Congressmen are letting these people have what they really, really want then they are being penalized by not reading the fine print.

  • ybailey-dav
    4/21/2017 - 06:36 a.m.

    In response to "New York made college tuition free" I think free college is a terrible idea. One reason is that since the college is not making money from students than taxes could be higher. Another reason is that students earn the right to go to college and if it is just free than anyone can get in, even the people who do not deserve it. In the test it says "They must repay the money as a loan if they take a job in another state." I think students should be able to leave. What if there are no job opportunities in New York, then the students would have to pay a huge fee.

  • bmaria-dav
    4/21/2017 - 10:10 a.m.

    In response to "New York makes college tuition free," I agree and disagree that making college free was a good idea. One reason I disagree is that you go to college, then once you graduate, you have to stay in New York for 4 more years, or else you pay, whats the point of making collage free then, if you have to stay in New York for 4 years, you could find jobs elsewhere. One reason I agree is that, not everyone has the money to go to college, and education is important. It says in the article "Brewster who has not yet decided his major. "I don't know what life will have for me," students might not know what life brings them in the job life, and if they leave, the college tuition has to be paid back as a loan, that doesn't seem fair. I think that New York has brought up a topic (free tuition) that no state wants to hear.

  • ezequield-ver
    4/21/2017 - 10:14 a.m.

    I feel that if college was free in all 50 states it'd be a waste for taxpayers. The hope is for everyone to have an opportunity to go to college without having financial difficulties holding you back, but the truth is not all people are going to want to take this tempting and great chance. There's people out there in the world who just don't care about getting educated and for that reason having tuition in all 50 states be free is wasteful and not a good idea.

  • allenm1-bla
    4/28/2017 - 08:23 a.m.

    If college were free in all states, I believe that more people would be educated and there would not be much crime in the United States. Of course I think that there would have to be bigger colleges and more rules to keep the colleges safe. Many people nowadays have financial difficulties because they went to college and have to pay off their debt, but if college was free these people would not have debt from college.

  • shaniac-bla
    4/28/2017 - 09:38 a.m.

    I think that if people went to college in all states free there would be a lot more people getting jobs and going to college. Also I think this is great because more people with an education means there is a greater chance of them getting a greater job to support their families. Also many people have money troubles and have to pay years of debt back to the loaners.

  • shahdi-bla
    4/28/2017 - 09:38 a.m.

    This article is about the government in New York giving college students free tuition. The government said that so the students don't take advantage of the free tuition, they said if you take free tuition, you must not leave the country. But if they do leave the state for an advanced degree, they do not have to pay the tuition money back as a loan. The tuition offers 3,000 and more. If they take the college tuition money and more to a different state to a better job, that's when you must pay the loan

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