Free tuition for cuny and suny schools
Earlier this month, Senator of Vermont Bernie Sanders and the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, proposed free tuition for all CUNY and SUNY schools. This was good news for households with tentative college students to be. Although the plan has not been put into action, there has been a lot of discussion concerning this proposal.
If approved, full-time New York students, whose families earn less than $125,000 a year, would pay no tuition to attend a two or four-year college within the State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY) systems. Once sanctioned by the state, it would take approximately 3 years for the plan to be put into effect. The plan seems like a great step towards free college education, however, it is not without its criticisms. For example, it is important to realize that, if the student chose to live on campus, the cost of dorms would increase. Furthermore, students would still have to cover the high cost of textbooks and required materials, which is an additional burden for many students.
Although this plan seems perfect on paper, many critics say it is not practical. Cuomo has estimated that the total cost would be $163 million a year, which some consider to be inaccurate. However, many ignore the fact that students will still have the opportunity to receive financial aid, along with the possibility of being awarded scholarships and grants.
Another factor to be taken into account is that there may be a rise in competition for students between CUNY and SUNY colleges. The Cuomo administration came out and spoke about this issue, stating he is ¨confident that the 64-campus, 440,000-student system can absorb what it projects will be a 10% enrollment increase.¨ Governor Cuomo seems confident and assured that this free-tuition proposal will succeed if it were to be passed.
It is also important to mention the fact that this ¨free-tuition¨ proposal will only extend as far as CUNY and SUNY schools. Regardless, whether the proposal were to pass or not, students of private universities would still be paying the required tuitions.
With much talk about about this proposal, the doors to a brighter future have opened for many low income families, who struggle to earn a living, let alone offer their children a college education. Although there has been no signs of progression in terms of this proposal, many students are hopeful that the state will approve this free-tuition bill.
When speaking to Ankita Datta, a Hillcrest High School junior, about what free-tuition would mean to her, she stated ¨free tuition would mean that I would not be handcuffed by a paper with numbers on it just because I dared to dream of going further in my life.” She went on to say “I feel that people who can afford to study in CUNY and SUNY schools should pay, but not high rates that are slapped on the bills today. It should be [made] affordable because, if college [tuition] was made [totally] free, it would just add to the national debt.” Although Ankita did express her concerns regarding the negative effects of free-tuition, she also stated “those who can't afford to go to college [yet] have a stellar record in school but did not receive a scholarship, shouldn’t have to take a loan… their education should be free.” There are many more students like Ankita who have expressed their views and concerns, at the same time giving it full support with high hopes for their future.
As Senator Bernie Sanders once said, “we have got to make sure that every qualified American in this country who wants to go to college can go to college- regardless of income.”
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