Published: Thu, March 30, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

GOP changes Governor's free college tuition plan

GOP changes Governor's free college tuition plan

According to student loan debt statistics from Make Lemonade, the average student loan debt per graduate in California is $22,191.

Thomas Harnisch, director of state relations and policy analyst at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, said that Pell Grants and state grants will be able to cover a large amount of tuition which therefore allows colleges and universities to offer such guarantees of free tuition because the remaining amount should not be that expensive.

Governor Cuomo's plan would have the state pay for the tuition of students at public colleges and universities whose combined family income is up to $125,000 a year, when the plan is fully phased in in two years.

The legislature's one house budgets make some changes to Governor Andrew Cuomo's $163 million proposal to offer free tuition at public colleges in NY to some middle class students.

"Under our plan, nearly 70 percent of resident student's families will be able to have their children attend college in NY tuition free", Heastie said.

A negative in the eyes of New York's more than 100 private colleges is that they are completely left out of the plan.

But he said he wishes there were more in it to help recent graduates who owe tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, among other things. "Half-measures will not help struggling NY families", said Sen.

In-state tuition at State University of NY four-year campuses is just under $6,500 a year, about a third of the typical four-year student's total public college bill in NY.

Tuition varies at community college even though are they are part of SUNY. MVCC's tuition is $4,084.

Some of the four year public universities which offer tuition-free programs include Arizona State University, Purdue University, West Texas A&M University, the University of Carolina-Chapel Hill, and all the campuses for University of Minnesota and University of Nebraska.

"More needs to be done", Cohen said. She says some private colleges are already postponing planned capital projects, in anticipation of the potential loss of students to public colleges. The lobby group also calculated those enrollment declines would put in jeopardy almost 45,000 jobs statewide.

Also Monday, Jim Malatras, president of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, said at a forum on the plan that the free tuition program is meant to be a practical, feasible solution to the problem of college affordability.

Mary Beth Labate is the head of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.

The other report, from the Education Trust-New York, concluded the governor's proposal would not provide any additional aid for low-income students who depend on higher education to improve their economic outlook.

Some type of plan is expected to be included in the state budget now being negotiated by Cuomo and state lawmakers.

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