New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced a plan to make all New York public college tuition free for those whose families earn less than $125,000 a year. The proposal has had a mixed reception with critics saying it only shifts costs and still leaves massive issues lingering in the air. However, despite all the criticism, for NYU students, responses should be overwhelmingly positive.
Although no NYU students will feel the direct results of Cuomo’s plan, there are secondhand effects. By lowering the overall cost of college in New York, NYU may, in turn, lower its overall cost in order to stay competitive. The proposal’s effects would alleviate at least a small fraction of the financial strain that many of us experience every year. Cuomo’s announcement will at the very least spark a much-needed conversation about NYU’s affordability.
NYU is consistently one of the most expensive universities in the world, often leaving those with lower incomes unable to attend. Affordability of higher education, especially at private universities, has become a much larger issue in the past few years as tuitions have skyrocketed. Thanks to candidate Bernie Sanders, college affordability became an important political issue during the election. Despite a nation-wide conversation, nothing much has changed. However, Cuomo’s plan could help lower the costs of both public and private universities in one fell swoop.
NYU is a school of passionate and powerful activists, and right now, it is our responsibility to support Cuomo’s proposal. Through the plethora of rallies and protests, there is absolutely room to fit in at least one or two to support this policy. There is always a cause worthy of our attention and this is one of them. In fact, it should be a priority. So, with that in mind, we must fight — for the millions of students who dream to get a college education but couldn’t afford it, for the spread of knowledge across this state and for our own wallets.
Email Thomas Price at [email protected]