Tuition Free SUNY

Everett Moss and Evan Blust

Staff Writers

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a new plan to make the tuition of SUNY and CUNY schools in New York free for some students. This would be for all four years. To receive this benefit a student will need to apply to the state which will review their houshold income figures and decide if they qualify.  

Gov. Cuomo’s plan is to spread the change over three years. In fall 2017, free tuition would be granted to anyone with a household income under $100,000. The following year he wants to raise the household income cutoff to $110,000 and in 2019, he hopes to re-raise it to $125,000. If he raises it to $125,000, then 940,000 families will qualify.

He wants to bring this change to help families and students have less debt and better careers. “A college education is not a luxury – it is an absolute necessity for any chance at economic mobility,” said Gov. Cuomo. This $163 million plan will not cover all of a student's expenses. They will still have to pay for room and board and school supplies such as textbooks, pens, and binders. Part of this free tuition will be paid for by taxes.

Students are frustrated because they have been working hard to pay for college, and now these kids are getting in for free.

There are some concerns about this plan. People are worried that colleges will replace their quality of schooling, with the quantity of students that will be attending. People are also nervous about whether or not this program will last with the costs of college rising. Another potential issue is that colleges will lose diversity because they will be accepting the students that can pay over the students that will be getting free tuition.

Although this issue affects the senior class of Jamesville-Dewitt High School, some are not aware of Gov. Cuomo’s plan. Some students guessed that this would affect less than 100,000 people. Some students think this is a good thing like senior Matt Schultz who said, “...Making SUNY’s tuition free could make it a really good option for a lot of people.” “Nowadays jobs require a college degree and by having this proposal people will have a better opportunity at receiving a job,” said sophomore Rachel Batizfalvi. Seniors Tyler Gabriel and Kaillee Philleo, who will soon be college students, think that this will help a lot of people.


However, some students have concerns about this. “The concept is a great idea, but the requirements are too low,” said sophomore Ben Virgo. He believes that the household income  cutoff should be lowered or else the government will be paying for too many kids and it will cost too much.