Le Moyne College Does Not Support Gov. Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship Plan
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February 9, 2017
Le Moyne College does not support New York State Governor Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship Plan, which would eliminate tuition from public universities and colleges in New York for families that make $125,000 or less. This aid would cover the remaining cost of tuition not already covered by the pre-existing federal aid packages such as TAP grants.
According to Sharon Halpin, the director of the financial aid office, “The most important reason Le Moyne is not supporting the Excelsior program is the limitations it imposes on student choice.” Since the proposal would only cover the cost of tuition for state institutions, public colleges would become much more desirable financially than private schools like Le Moyne.
Halpin also agrees with the critics who believe that the plan would benefit the middle class and that it “limits where the benefit can be used,” as it only covers tuition. Instead, Halpin “proposes that those funds be used to increase the TAP program and allow the benefit to be used at any NYS schools.” That way, private institutions aren’t hurt by the proposal.
Cuomo’s plan has been endorsed by free college advocates such as Vermont Senator and 2016 Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders. The plan has also received criticism, that it would benefit the middle class over lower income families and most likely cost more than the federal estimate of $163 million per year. Critics also point out that the Excelsior Scholarship is a plan to increase enrollment and prestige of the SUNY and CUNY college systems.
According to Le Moyne’s website, the cost for a Le Moyne education is approximately $47,000 per year. For the 2016-2017 year, Le Moyne’s tuition was estimated to be $32,040 and the sum of fees, room, and board being $13,960. For the 2017-2018 year, tuition is estimated to increase to $32,840 and the sum of fees, room, and board to $14,465. The total cost would increase $1,305 from $46,000[2016-2017] to $47,305[2017-2018]. This is excluding other personal costs for textbooks, travel, and other various expenses.
The cost for the average public New York State institution in 2016-2017, according to the SUNY website, is around $20,650 for in-state residents, $11,920 for commuters, and $30,500 for out-of-state residents. For New York State residents, tuition is $6,470 and the sum of fees, room, and board is $14,180 [$5,450 for commuters]. For out-of-state residents tuition is $16,320 and the sum of fees, room, and board is $14,180. The difference between $47,000 and $20,650 clearly shows that Le Moyne’s education costs substantially more than that of the New York State public school system.