Cuomo announces free tuition for middle-class families at LaGuardia CC

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A cheering crowd at LaGuardia Community College welcomed Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to their Long Island City campus Tuesday where Cuomo announced his plan to give free college tuition to eligible New York students. The Excelsior Scholarship program would offer free tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools for students from nearly a million families making less than $125,000 a year.

“A college education is not a luxury — it is an absolute necessity for any chance at economic mobility, and with these first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarships, we’re providing the opportunity for New Yorkers to succeed, no matter what zip code they come from and without the anchor of student debt weighing them down,” Cuomo said. “New York is making a major investment in our greatest asset — our people — and supporting the dreams and ambitions of those who want a better life and are willing to work hard for it.”

Sanders, an independent, called the program “revolution­ary” and urged state legislators to approve the plan and make it a model for the rest of the nation. Sanders pushed for free tuition nationwide during his unsuccessful bid for the presidentcy.

“If the United States is to succeed in a highly competitive global economy, we need the best educated workforce in the world,” Sanders said. “We must make public colleges and universities tuition free for the middle and working families of our country.”

In 2015, the average student loan debt in New York was $29,320. If approved, the Excelsior Scholarship program will be a supplement to the Tuition Assistance Program, which provides nearly $1 billion in grants students statewide, and federal aid.

“College is a mandatory step if you really want to be a success,” Cuomo said. “And this society should say we’re going to pay for college because you need college to be successful. Other countries have done it. It’s time this country catches up.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Helton from Flushing says:
As of now, this is just a proposal. They have not said how they plan to pay for it.

I can hardly wait...
Jan. 3, 2017, 7:21 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Yes, I would like to know how this will be paid for, but come on folks, college tuition, even for community colleges is ridiculous high and it does not have to be. Get rid of some of those high paying jobs of some of the administrators of colleges that are completely unnecessary.

BUT face it, we as a country need to educated our people (of course not every one will go to college or wants to) to not only stay competitive but to become a better society. This just goes to show how fractured our society is (and the powers that be on both sides like this). I cannot believe that some people would be against this and I can just bet that most people who make comments on this website certainly do not make anywhere near $125,000, so what is all the complaining about and idiotic school kid comments like "commie", I am sure that person making that comment does not even make $50,000 a year.

Don't be so stupid folks and being dragged around by your neck by the folks who do not give a crap about you. Let's see all you Trump supporters how much he and his billionaire cabinet will care about you and how much better your life will get.

If someone came up with a cure for cancer and it was associated with one of the two parties, then the other party supporters would say it is a bad idea, just because it is not their party.

Don't continually play stupid, the powers that be want you to so they can control you, which they have already been doing for at some time now. Remember "Reaganomics". That certainly did not help the middle class, but in fact helped with the demise of it.
Jan. 4, 2017, 5:44 am
thomas L from whitestone 11357 says:
whitestone I guess he wants the middle class to pay
Jan. 4, 2017, 2:12 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Thomas , your comment about the middle class paying for this, are you telling me that $125,000 and under don't include the middle class. There are many middle class in that bracket. I certainly would not consider middle class above $125,000.
Jan. 4, 2017, 3:41 pm
lou from bayside says:
the times ledger /alt left /fake news
Jan. 4, 2017, 10:02 pm
J Phucough from Bayside says:
Bernie Sanders is a clueless Schmuck.
Jan. 7, 2017, 6:19 pm

Comments closed.

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