I have written several blogs lately about how students are graduating from colleges and universities with few marketable skills and therefore are largely unprepared to get high-paying jobs in today’s workplace. They can’t service debt, can’t buy cars and certainly can’t afford houses. Not great for our economy!
Although the U.S. educational system has flaws, one state gets it.
In an effort to reverse this trend and make college more affordable and accessible for all, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in January that tuition will be free for residents who earn up to a certain income cap to be phased in over the first three years of the program.
Undergraduates attending a State University of New York or City University of New York school will be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship if their families earn less than $100,000 a year. That will rise to $110,000 in the second year and $125,000 in the third year, 2019. Those who qualify will pay nothing for tuition, which costs $6,470 annually at four-year schools and about $4,350 at community colleges. (They will still be on the hook for room and board fees if they live on campus, which run about $14,000 a year).
What’s great about this plan is that it reduces or even eliminates the debt burden for students (again, a huge drag on our economy). They say a rising tide lifts all boats, which is what I’m hoping Cuomo’s plan does, creating a better path for college graduates to get high-paying jobs. This is what I’d like to focus on here—high-paying jobs—because irrespective of the cost of an education, good high-salary jobs eliminate or reduce all the other problems.