Cuomo's New York agenda feeds talk of presidential run

Posted April 18, 2017

The Excelsior Scholarship is expected to cut costs for middle class families that make up to $125,000 a year. A family making $50,000 to $60,000 a year is not going to be eligible for Pell grants, yet it is still going to be hard for them to afford college.

The income cap for the scholarship program will go up to $125,000 in 2019 and will cost the state an estimated $163 million per year.

The study that yielded the report began two years ago, before the latest free-tuition pushes.

Take a family making $21,000 per year.

One thing is for sure and that is we need to do a better job to align higher education academic program offerings and what we teach in the classroom with the demands of the job market.

Noah Sheehan, a sophomore, said he is anxious because all of the students that use the scholarship are required to stay in New York State after graduation.

The budget will not cover room and board and it will require recipients to remain and work in New York State for as long as they received the aid.

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"He's running. It's pretty clear", said University of Maryland political scientist Robert Koulish, who said the second-term governor appears to be positioning himself as a hybrid: a centrist in the mold of Clinton who supports social policies championed by liberals like Sanders. It's likely to draw more students to the state's public colleges and away from private colleges. "I can only hope that the success of the Excelsior Scholarship will ultimately guide my colleagues to passing a fully realized DREAM Act".

Besides for the victory of free tuition, Cohen promised students that SUNY SA will continue to develop "a comprehensive platform and a powerful grassroots campaign to make sure that public higher education is accessible and affordable to anyone who wishes to learn regardless of their race, sexual orientation, or their socio-economic status".

"To be truly helpful to needy students, Excelsior Scholarships should have provided aid to the majority of public college students who attend part-time". State grants and scholarship programs are already in place to assist lower-income students in paying tuition. I spoke to her on Tuesday to get her perspective on the new law.

We loved the idea of free tuition from the beginning. SUNY officials estimate about 80,000 students would qualify for the program. Ultimately, to be successful, higher education financing reforms must address underlying cost pressures rather than accept them as a fact of life. But he also presides over a state, like all states, where many students don't complete college and where many are unprepared for the information economy. Cutbacks in state higher education appropriations have been the driving engine of tuition growth over the past 40 years. Taking advantage of this program means that a NY state resident could complete college debt free. Although the new state budget, which runs through next March 31, will provide $1.33 billion to CUNY, SUNY and private universities, Ms. Bowen noted that state funding per student at CUNY is still below pre-recession levels when adjusted for inflation.

The scholarship affects another area college as well - Jamestown Community College.

While some progressives think the bill did not go far enough, there are still those who believe this is overstepping the realm of feasibility and wish that the scholarship was a "last dollar" proposal, as Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-Rhode Island) had structured in her proposal from January. She spent five years managing a national internship program where she placed over 400 interns with some of the biggest media companies in the world.

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