Brennan_07-2017
Society & Culture

A Free Ride to Clown College

Not content to suffer quietly under a $352 billion state debt, a crumbling post-World War II infrastructure, and a $65 billion unfunded pension liability in its largest city, the state of New York hastened its impending financial devastation this spring by announcing the latest Blue State special: free college tuition.  Under its preposterous Excelsior Scholarship Program, the Empire State will stop charging “more than 940,000 middle-class families and individuals making up to $125,000 per year” at the state’s public universities and community colleges, according to its website.  Let’s forget for a moment that New Yorkers remain eligible for the program even if they earn 2.2 times the median national income (2015) of $56,516.  Let’s also dispense with the archaic notion that a college education amounts to anything more than vocational training.  New York admits as much on the Excelsior website; these scholarships will empower college students to “secure the jobs of tomorrow.”  Rather, let’s envision New York’s brilliant future in which a homegrown, locally educated, emergent aristocracy recaptures its 1900 bragging rights as the nation’s richest and most populous state.

The State University of New York (SUNY) educates 427,000 undergraduates on 64 campuses statewide.  The system’s academic offerings provide evidence of the state’s...

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