This letter is in response to what I believe is a lack understanding and enthusiasm for the Excelsior Scholarship by our local public school administrators, school board members, parents and even students.
It is my hope that school officials, such as school counselors, social workers and those who work closest with our middle-class and low-income families will encourage participation in the Excelsior Scholarship.
The Excelsior Scholarship is designed to help middle-class families supplement (not supplant) the cost of tuition for students attending SUNY and CUNY colleges.
Although, the scholarship only covers tuition it will still lead to college affordability for many families who are income eligible.
The scholarship will be phased in over three years, beginning for families making up to $100,000 annually in the fall of 2017, $110,000 in 2018, and $125,000 in 2019. The application will be opened on June 7 and more information regarding the Excelsior Scholarship can be obtained at www.hesc.ny.gov.
I believe that all progressive New Yorkers will agree that a well-educated populous is necessary for economic growth within our state.
The funding of public education has been and continues to be primarily a function of state government. With rising tuition costs, as well as the increasing student debt crisis, New York should invest in its students’ higher education as an investment in its future workforce.
Students who receive the scholarship is required to live and work in New York state after graduation.
Therefore, the expenditure of government funds in the form of the Excelsior Scholarship should be well received.
The whole idea of the scholarship is that those who benefit will stay and become an asset to New York state.