Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sure, call me an idealist

Piggybacking on one of Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign planks for his ill-fated presidential run, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed making two and four year state college tuition free for state residents with a family income of less that $125,000. This impacts tens of thousands of students. Now, there has not been an explanation of how this will be paid for, but this is a major policy that is being discussed.

While I no longer think everyone should go to college, I'm seeing a lot of people struggle with the costs of college education. I graduated college thirty years ago and had a debt of about $10,000. Total. And it was hard to pay off. Students now are graduating with a debt many times what I had and it would be great for them to have that type of debt relief.

There were comments of people wanting their student loans reimbursed now that this may happen. Why? Because someone is getting something you did not? I thought as a society we were supposed to progress, not punch down or regress when others have any form of success. I always thought we were supposed to leave the room a bit nicer looking than when we left it, and this policy could certainly accomplish that. We worked hard. Now others do not have to. Is that a horrible achievement? Or are people going to be mad because they did not get theirs?

Selfishness is not something people learned at my college, SUNY Fredonia, whose motto is, "To learn, to search, to serve." It must have been in them all along.

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