Free colleges in NY smell like socialism

Aaron Velasquez, Staff Writer

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The state of New York has decided to implement The Excelsior Scholarship, a government aid program aimed at making state and city colleges in New York tuition free.

Anybody who is in high schools knows that a high school diploma is not what it used to be.

For most students, higher education, mainly in the form of a 4-year college degree, is necessary for any serious consideration in the job market.

This has been the motivation behind this new state plan. The state’s website,, states, “Today, college is what high school was — it should always be an option even if you can’t afford it.”

While this state plan for “free college” sounds great on the surface, the more you look into it, the more flawed it becomes.

Recipients of the scholarship must fall under a certain demographic and then follow a set of rules. These include a families making less than $125,000 a year, students averaging 30 credits a year, maintaining a certain GPA, residing in NY. Once students graduate, they must work in the state for the same number of years they received the scholarship.

Despite these caveats, the ideology behind free college is flawed.

The key to fixing an overburden higher education system is not to push more and more people through it. Instead, we need to fix our watered down public school system, and make a high school diploma mean more.

A high school diploma does not mean much anymore because the public school curricula is so weak. Anyone with half a brain can scrape by with passing grades.

With today’s public school system, a high school diploma basically just means you are smart enough to show up to class and write your name on worksheets.

The weak public school system is not the only problem; employers also must start recognizing skills in employees out of high school.

Not every job requires four years of higher education and a college degree. Someone may find theatre arts, fashion design or dance theory rather interesting, but there are not many jobs out there that need a degree in those fields.

Employers must also realize the value of on the job training. Sometimes the best way to learn a job is to do it and learn from experience and your higher ups, not spend four years paying a college for an education you can learn on the job, or with a $100 Amazon tab from buying books.

Unfortunately, we will most likely not see much change in legislation nor society in the coming years.

President Obama took the Democratic party into socialist la la land and filled our government, and the people, with the ideals of big government, “free” programs, and high taxes.

Even without the legislation, the idea of a mandatory four year degree is most likely not going anywhere soon. Degrees will be required for even the most mundane jobs and students will be stuck paying ridiculous amounts for unnecessary education.

This is evident with the hundreds of other seniors, just like me, being drawn into this machine in the coming months.