During their runs for the White House, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders promised tuition-free college. Now, with Trump's victory, that seemed to become a distant dream. That is, until Democratic Governor Cuomo of New York tepped up and proposed that the state legislature make it a reality for up to one million eligible families who have children in the State, who want to attend state colleges. He promises that the program will only cost $163 million a year; when fully phased in over 3 years.
Now, one thing I've learned about Democrats like Cuomo, is that they are terrible at math. They almost always underestimate the true cost of any new entitlement program. Once more, this appears to be the case for this tuition-free entitlement program. Here's why. The in-state annual cost of tuition for a New York public college student is $6,470. Divide that into Cuomo's proposed $163 million a year and you end up with 25,193 students who could benefit from the program. Yet, a million families would be eligible? That's just 2-1/2% of all eligible families. Also, when you talk about eligible families, you are not taking into account that some families could have more than one eligible child.
However, here's the biggest problem with any talk about free tuition. As a country, we waste billions of dollars on college education. Most students enrolled in a 4 year colleges don't graduate in 4 years. In addition, the 6-year graduation rate for state colleges is still only 57%. In other words, those that don't graduate in either 4 or 6 years, will be -- a waste of money. Of course, under Cuomo's plan, that will be a waste of taxpayer's money. But, its not just about money. ACT (American College Testing) found that 60% of high school students that took their test were not qualified or prepared for college. Yet, somehow, 66% of high school graduates go on to college.
There is also a bigger problem with college education in this country. All too many workers have degrees that are worthless. Career Builder, in 2014, found that 51% of those college students who graduated that year and found emplooyment, were working in jobs that didn't require a degree, which that brings me to another point. Too much emphasis is placed on a college education. What we should be doing is getting people into trade schools for professions that are desperately in need of trained job seekers. This is where tuition-free education would carry more bang for the buck. Further, if you want to provide 4 years of college tuition, make sure it is targeted to students that are enrolled in programs that will provide the type of expertise that is so often lacking in the country.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces Free College Plan With Bernie Sanders: http://time.com/4621407/free-college-andrew-cuomo-bernie-sanders-new-york/
Bernie Sanders is wrong: College is not a right: http://theweek.com/articles/553857/bernie-sanders-wrong-college-not-right
National Center for educational Statistics: College Graduation Rates: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40
ACT Shows 60% of High School Seniors Not College-ready: http://www.governing.com/news/state/mct-seniors-not-college-ready.html
Most High School Seniors Aren't College Or Career Ready, Says 'Nation's Report Card': http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/04/27/475628214/most-high-school-seniors-arent-college-or-career-ready-says-nations-report-card
Fewer U.S. Graduates Opt for College After High School: Last October, just 65.9 percent of people who had graduated from high
school the previous spring had enrolled in college, the Bureau of Labor
Statistics said this week. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/business/fewer-us-high-school-graduates-opt-for-college.html
51 Percent of Employed 2014 College Grads Are in Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree, Finds CareerBuilder Survey: http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=10%2F9%2F2014&id=pr846&ed=10%2F9%2F2099
America's Skilled Trades Dilemma: Shortages Loom As Most-In-Demand Group Of Workers Ages: http://www.forbes.com/sites/emsi/2013/03/07/americas-skilled-trades-dilemma-shortages-loom-as-most-in-demand-group-of-workers-ages/#3939ec4c4545