Mary: I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program looks at the debate over making college free. Mike, recently New York State established a program to make attendance at the state’s public colleges tuition-free for students from households earning up to double New York’s average household income. What are the pros and cons of this program?
Mike: Summary Answer
- Obviously helps more young people go to college – and a college education is becoming more and more mandatory to obtain many good paying jobs
- Also will reduce the need for many students to take out costly student loans, which can delay to later establish a household – buy a home, etc.
- But, there are catches – have to finish in four years and agree to remain working in the state for 4 years – if not, must pay back money – but what if best job opportunity is out of the state
- Some also say it will hurt private colleges
- Last, some worry that will demotivate students; some research indicates students who have to work to pay for college costs are motivated to study more and graduate on time
- Will interesting to track program’s results – other states will be watching
- I’m MW
Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service