Free tuition in New York could hurt private colleges

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jan 04, 2017

Daemen College President, Dr. Gary Olson is concerned about Governor Cuomo's new free college tuition plan. Olson believes it could cause private colleges that are struggling with enrollment to close.

"That would have an adverse affect on economic development in the entire state," Dr. Olson said.

The governor proposed the plan for students from middle-class-families making $125,000 or less per year. They would be able to attend any state or city school in New York for free. About a million families with college aged children would qualify if this plan is passed by state lawmakers.

Dr. Olson said he approves of the governor's efforts, but doesn't quiet agree with how he's doing it.

"If the governor was willing to put the money into TAP. That's the Tuition Assistance Program that we have in the state, increase that, and let the students choose. The families choose if you want to go to Daemen College or Buff State. That's the smart way to do," Olson said.

Governor Cuomo has yet to release details about his plan. However, it's estimated to cost the state more than $163-million. Some students say it would take a load off their back when it comes to student loans.

"I think it would be a great opportunity for students. It would definitely eliminate a lot of excuses that people might have about higher education," one student said.

"The very rich people they don't have to worry about that, because they have the money. The middle class is where this hits the most, so i just think a wiser way to use state money is to put it into a financial aid, and not attach it to a particular college," President Olson said.