There’s A Catch To New York’s New Free College Tuition Initiative: It’s You

I feel like Upstate NY is a whole new land. We’ve got a damn bike trail taking us from Buffalo to NYC, we can finally hail a taxi when we’re three buttons deep, and of course there is now free tuition available for state colleges.

This is no small feat, something that Bernie Sanders rode his 2016 presidential campaign on and later picked back up by Governor Cuomo with the focus on SUNY.

New York will be the first state to make tuition at public colleges and universities free for middle-class students under a state budget approved by lawmakers Sunday.

The plan will apply to any New York student whose family has an annual income of $125,000 or less. To qualify the student would have to meet certain class load and grade point average restrictions, and room and board would not be covered.

After this bill passed on April 1, I do not think I am alone when I say I was surprised. It’s not untypical for vocal Trump supporters to push down your throat that anyone who wants free tuition just wants everything free, but it’s really not the case. College is just fucking expensive and something needed to change.

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“College is today what high school was 50 years ago,” Cuomo said on a radio interview Sunday on AM 970 in New York City. “If you’re a young person who wants success and a career, a college education is necessary.

The value of a college degree is most certainly up for debate, but what’s certain is that a middle class student not going to college carries a negative stereotype which leads many to swallow more debt than they can chew which is why I’m happy this plan went into action. But free college, how does it work, and is there a catch?

Absolutely, it’s you.

Yes, you are the catch for the free tuition, because if you are a recipient of the benefit, you must remain in New York State post graduation for as many years as you received it. And if you leave, the money you received converts to a loan.

“Why should New Yorkers pay for your college education and then you take off and you move to California? The concept of investing in you and your education is that you’re going to stay here and be an asset to the state,” he said. “If you don’t stay here, then go to California and let them pay for your college education.”

First of all, love the passive aggressive “why don’t you just” comment from Cuomo. Take it or leave it, love it or fuck you. I think it’s fair as hell, I don’t remember the last time a guy at the bar has ever given you a free drink without making you stick around for at least 1 minute. It’s just how the system works, and if you don’t like it, why don’t you just go to California and let them handle it.

Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
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