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Letters: Is free tuition smart or irresponsible?

Students walking through a college campus.

Students walking through a college campus. Credit: iStock

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s insane idea of free tuition, based on family income, is a slap at every New York taxpayer [“Get down to work for New York,” Editorial, Jan. 8].

He’s not a businessman, or else he would know that if you give something to people without them having skin in the game, it’s treated without total responsibility. The federal government has cost taxpayers millions with student loan forgiveness programs. Some have made no attempt to repay these loans.

Giving things away for a vote is poor management and just plain bad business.

Robert Casale, Glen Head


I congratulate Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for having the vision to place New York on a better path with tuition-free college educations for students from families earning $125,000 or less. Criticism of the plan in William F. B. O’Reilly’s column “What next from Andrew the Munificent?” [Jan. 7] was unfortunate and myopic.

Full-time, tuition-free college was once available to working-class families at City College, Brooklyn College, Queens College and Hunter College. Many students might not have received higher education without it. When I attended the Baruch School at City College, the only cost was an $8 bursar’s fee.

The program was burdensome to the city, but the long-term rewards were incalculable. Free tuition provided an educated workforce that injected dynamism into the local economy, produced the taxes paid based on earnings, and contributions to society from Nobel laureates who emerged from the system.

Access to higher education is necessary in an era in which an having an educated workforce is essential to enhancing economic prospects across New York State.

Bernard Sosnick, Melville


I am one of the thousands who received world-class, tuition-free educations at Brooklyn College in the 1960s. I would like to thank New York City for investing in me — and for investing in the future of the city and the country.

My classmates were mostly first-generation college students who might not have afforded college. We became teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, artists and on and on. We gave back.

Although tuition was free, there were other expenses, such as books and fees, for which I had to work part time, as did classmates. It was well worth it. I taught in city public schools for 30 years, sending many students on the path to college and a better life.

Let’s hope the tuition-free plan passes, and others will have the same incredible opportunity I had. Our young people are well worth it!

Lynn Geisler, Huntington


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