*New York is the latest state to offer free college tuition for its residents — but there’s an interesting catch.
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says students must remain in the state after graduation or pay the tuition back as a loan. Republican lawmakers in the state reportedly pushed for the loan requirement. Cuomo said the rule was necessary to prevent students from taking advantage and leaving the 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.”
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Governor Cuomo’s announcement comes amid reports that tens of thousands of New Yorkers are fleeing the state at “an alarming rate” due to lack of jobs and high rent, New York Post reports.
Temple University Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab slammed the proposal as “economically and educationally foolish.”
“As someone who has worked on almost every free college bill, I [email protected] won’t be remembered well if he keeps this provision,” she tweeted.
The Excelsior Scholarship, as the program is called, was praised by Hillary Clinton, who posted on Twitter: “Let’s celebrate New York State getting something important done that we wanted to do nationally. A great step for progressives.”
However, as the New York Times notes, D. Bruce Johnstone, a former SUNY chancellor, cautions against raising expectations too much. “It will help a slice of middle-class students, but it’s only a slice,” he said.
“If you’re really concerned about students who are not attending because of the reality or the perception of unaffordability, this is not the way to help them,” he said. “This is going to cost money, and it will make some parents happy, but I don’t see it moving the accessibility needle.”
What do you think of Governor Cuomo’s free tuition provision?