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SUNY Fredonia, JCC officials react to Excelsior Scholarship

SUNY Fredonia, JCC officials react to Excelsior Scholarship

New York State's Excelsior Scholarship offers free tuition to families making up to $125,000 a year. Many states, including NY, already have loan forgiveness programs for graduates if they work in certain professions and in certain geographic areas.

As a result of the various exceptions and restrictions attached to Cuomo's widely hailed program, officials acknowledged that as few as 32,000 students might take advantage of the free tuition plan. So despite NY being a sanctuary city and having a strong undocumented student movement, the undocumented can not partake in the scholarship. In this fashion, runaway tuition inflation has hindered access not only to private universities, but also to public colleges meant to provide a solid, affordable college education for in-state students.

OH has agreements in place with other states, including Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, that make students from other states considered OH citizens for tuition purposes. It covers tuition at state universities for full-time, in-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less, though students still will pay out of pocket for room, board and other expenses.

Discussions so far show that the Excelsior Scholarship is going to be groundbreaking.

"I think it will be a tremendous incentive to help stem the brain drain from NY state and particularly the North Country", she said.

"Unfortunately, the neediest are left with nothing but a feel-good message", Nassirian said.

There are more qualifications, but community colleges do count.

SUNY estimated that one-fifth of its undergraduates, or 80,000 students, would qualify for the program, based on the numbers who attend full time and graduate within four years.

"This will work to alleviate the enormous burden of college tuition on hundreds of thousands of middle class families in our state, and we're thrilled for that", said Marc Cohen, president of the SUNY Student Assembly. These add about $15,000 to the annual cost of attending college when students are away from home. "During these times of anxiety and uncertainty, NY will continue to lead the nation forward".

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The proposed state investment would amount to $4,000 per student, substantially more than the NY program.

The Excelsior Scholarship has been made possible through the approval of $7.5 billion in the state budget for higher education, a $448 million, 6.3 percent, increase over past year, according to Cuomo's office. They must repay the money as a loan if they take a job in another state.

The theory behind investing in students and their education is that they will be the educated workforce that attracts businesses to NY.

Tramuta also stated that had the bill been implemented earlier, a total of 2,500 students would have benefited from the Excelsior Scholarship for the 2016-17 school year.

According to the New York State website, 37,922 families in Central New York have college-age students, and 79.6 percent of those families will be eligible.

"I haven't seen an editorial endorsement in the Times that actually represented what happened in an election in a long time", Cuomo said.

If Mr. Cuomo had succeeded as governor, hed be confident that recent graduates would want to stay in the state without either being bribed by a scholarship or being threatened to have to pay it back. Over the course of four years at a State University of NY college, tuition would make up only about $26,000 of the total $83,000 tab.

"This is great news for our children's futures and local property taxpayers, and the unprecedented investment will ensure that our kids receive the highest quality learning opportunities", said Senator Cathy Young in a press release. The program begins this fall and will be phased in over three years. Using Pell Grants to pay living costs would also help to reduce students' reliance on borrowing to pay those costs - one of the biggest problems with the current loan structure, as much of the existing debt is accumulated to pay living costs.

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