04/12/2017

New York State Wants To Make Tuition 'Free.' Here Are 5 Reasons It Won't Be.

Aaron Bandler, Daily Wire

New York recently became the first state to offer tuition-free college to those in the middle class or below.

The law passed by the state legislature over the weekend provides those in the income brackets of $100,000 a year or below in 2017 with a scholarship to attend a state or city college for free; that number will rise to $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019. The law does not cover the cost of housing or textbooks, and illegals will not be covered. 

"College is today what high school was 50 years ago," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said on New York radio station AM 970. "If you're a young person who wants success and a career, a college education is necessary."

However, the concept of "free" college will actually be quite costly for the state of New York. Here are five reasons why.

1. Taxpayers will shoulder the increasingly heavy burden. The program is expected to cost $163 million in the first year alone; Tyler Durden noted at Zero Hedge that "like all other entitlements, [it] will only grow over time." New York already has the highest tax burden in the country, meaning that as the program expands, every taxpayer in the state will get whacked by onerous taxes.

2. Colleges will ultimately be forced to raise the cost of tuition even higher. It's a matter of basic economics: as demand increases, prices increase; eliminating college tuition for numerous people at the $125,000 income bracket and below increases demand; therefore, tuition costs will increase. There is already evidence to suggest that expanding the availability of federal subsidies increased the cost of tuition; back in July New York Times article examining Hillary Clinton's free college plan – which was similar to New York's new program – pointed to a New York Federal Reserve study that "looked at three different increases in federal subsidies in recent years and found that each had produced a significant increase in college tuition." 

The Times article also noted:

Under Mrs. Clinton’s plan, most students would not feel the pain of tuition increases. The government would pay their bills regardless. But that could make it easier for colleges to raise prices, as they would not need to fear a loss of customers.

The same logic would apply to New York's new program. 

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