NY Makes Tuition Free, But Students Must Stay After College

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So college tuition in New York is now free for the middle-class. This seems like a dream come true to many but there’s a catch (of course there is a catch. There’s always a catch). If you have been graced with the opportunity to study in NY colleges for free you MUST stay in the state after graduating! This means you have to get a job in the state and live in the state. If you don’t want to remain in NY after college then you will be forced to pay “back the benefit” as a loan.

However, the exception to the rule is, if you leave the state for an advanced degree after graduating then you won’t have to pay back the benefit as it will be assumed that you will return to NY after. The state is also considering making accommodations for students who leave the state for military purposes.

The free tuition initiative was proposed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January but the rule that you must stay in the state after graduation was only recently applied to ensure that the state doesn’t experience any brain drain. Cuomo doesn’t want students taking advantage of the free education, then leaving.

“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.”

The benefit of free tuition isn’t available to everyone in New York though. The “free tuition initiative” is only available to students from families earning $125,000 or less. So, if your family makes more than $125,000 then you’re out of luck because you’re going to have to ask your parents to pay the tuition for you right after that new pair of Jays they buy for you every month. (That was a joke. Please don’t quote me there LOL).

And for the students “lucky” enough to have access to free tuition in New York, they must stay in the state for “as many years as they received the benefit”.

“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, a spokesman for the Senate’s Republican leadership.

What do students and professors think of the “free tuition initiative”?

One 18-year-old freshman at the University of Albany, Bobby Rickard weighs in: “I don’t know how much I like feeling confined, even to staying in the state for four more years. I don’t know what life will have for me.”

Another student, Cumorah Reed, an English major, believes that since technology jobs are most prevalent on the west coast (Silicon Valley), many tech students will be disappointed that they won’t be able to apply to those jobs for a few years well after they graduate.

“It’s absolutely bait and switch,” Sara Goldrick-Rab, a Temple University professor 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.”

Ashley Mendez, 18, a journalism and communications major, like a large group of students, actually loves the initiative. “I’m a New Yorker. I wouldn’t leave the state for anything,” Mendez said.

What about for private colleges? Are private colleges free too? Well, sadly no. But the government will be offering up to $3000 in grants so it’ll make it a little easier.

Now I want to know what you think. Do you think the frtuitiontin initiative in NY is a good idea? Let me know on Facebook or in the comments section below.

Source: ABC News

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