Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tuition-Free College Is Nothing More Than a Political Ploy

By Allysia Finley

New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled out a plan last week to give free tuition to middle-class students attending the state’s public colleges. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were quick to praise Mr. Cuomo’s political ploy, whose true target isn’t New Yorkers but Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The governor presents himself as a champion of the middle class, but it has been fleeing the state in droves due to the lack of jobs and high cost of living. More than 191,000 New Yorkers decamped last year for other states, 43,000 of them to Florida alone. About three-quarters of the state’s counties have lost population since 2010, when Mr. Cuomo was elected. The New York City area continues to grow thanks largely to an influx of foreign immigrants.

Alas, the plan for tuition-free college merely redistributes income while giving the middle class little actual help. In fact, many of the scheme’s putative beneficiaries may be harmed.


Consider the terms and conditions for the state scholarship. To qualify, students must come from families earning less than $100,000 ($125,000 by 2019)—and they must attend school full-time and graduate on time. The State University of New York estimates that about a fifth of its undergraduates would be eligible. A mere 2% of students at the City University of New York would qualify—in part because of low graduation rates, just 5% for full-time students at CUNY’s York College.  

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Source: The Wall Street Journal (via The Empire Report) 

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