Students, lawmakers split on idea of free college tuition

Some students are happy to hear that state lawmakers approved a plan to provide free college tuition for the middle class, while other students and lawmakers say it may hurt taxpayers.

Some students are happy to hear that state lawmakers approved a plan to provide free college tuition for the middle class, while other students and lawmakers say it may hurt taxpayers. (4/10/17)

VALHALLA - New York is set to make tuition at public colleges and universities free for middle-class students, but not everyone is on board with the plan.

The tuition initiative is part of a new state budget approved Sunday by the state Senate, a day after the Assembly approved it.

Westchester County College freshman Kelly Salem is thrilled with the idea. She says she currently gets financial aid and was unsure how she would pay her way to get a teaching degree. She thinks the plan is amazing and will help people who need it the most.

Under the plan, students from New York state whose families earn $125,000 or less will be eligible.

County Executive Rob Astorino is skeptical of the plan. He believes the $160 million a year program will put an unfair burden on taxpayers. However, administrators at WCC feel the good in the program far outweighs the bad.

One catch to the program is that students will still be responsible for books, as well as room and board. In addition, students must remain in New York after graduation for the same number of years they received the funding.

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