Monday, April 10, 2017

Is Free College in New York Worth It?

Free college is a dream for many people. The cost of higher education has risen to a massive Mount Everest peak and only those who can afford it will have opportunities to reach a new level in their lives. New York had decided their own version of free education with the belief that higher education is now a lot like high school and should be a right. Does it make sense?

The name of the program The Excelsior Scholarship and it is believe that 80% of New York State families with college-age kids will be eligible. It is a massive undertaking that includes a record $7.5 billion budget for higher education. As long as a person comes from a family with college-age kids with incomes under $125,000 they should be eligible.

So is this a good idea? That depends on....

1.) We can afford it. The money is available and the state can continue this into the future.

2.) The quality of curriculum is high. There is a difference between elite and other types of colleges. If the colleges provide a quality education it is worth it.

3.)  There is a net plus for the state. If the education leads to meaningful job growth and greater economic competitiveness beyond the costs it is a huge benefit.

4.) The education leads to greater health, wealth and opportunity. If the education leads to greater health of the individual and lowers health costs, improves income that allows for greater tax benefits, and people feel more fulfilled in their lives then it is a "go".

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