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Excelsior tuition plan a helpful step

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, seated left, and

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, seated left, and New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, seated right, attend a ceremonial bill signing of the Excelsior Scholarship at LaGuardia Community College in Queens on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Credit: Charles Eckert

Excelsior tuition plan is a helpful step

I’m a social work graduate student with a copious amount of debt from my undergraduate studies and now from my graduate studies.

I felt confused, jealous, excited and lied to when I heard about the passage of the Excelsior Scholarship [“Free tuition: Primer,” News, April 12]. But after reading this article, my concerns were alleviated.

I thought a free tuition policy was too good to be true. There seem to be extremely limiting restrictions, such as the mandatory residency in New York after graduation, the scholarship being a last resort after Pell and state Tuition Assistance Program grants, and the lack of funding for a student’s needs, such as room and board, fees and books.

I’m pleased to see efforts made to create equal educational opportunities. But New York would benefit more by extending the scholarship further to the lower-income population that experiences a harsher path to equal opportunities and a quality education.

Gerriann D’Aquisto, Selden

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