Gov. Cuomo announces end of Excelsior Scholarship

Gov.+Cuomo+announces+end+of+Excelsior+Scholarship

Courtesy SUNY.edu

Francis Boeck, Managing/Sports Editor

Less than a year after the program was created, the Excelsior Scholarship in New York State will come to end announced Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday.

Although the Excelsior Scholarship, a state aid program that allowed every New York state resident to attend a SUNY or CUNY school tuition-free, had been one of Cuomo’s biggest accomplishments as governor, he decided that the program needed to be stopped after President Donald Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House earlier this week that he liked the program calling it “tremendous” and that his son Barron might take advantage of it in the future.

“I am deeply saddened to inform you that the Excelsior Scholarship will be coming to an end after this academic year. I was beyond excited when we became the first state in the nation have free college tuition,” Cuomo said in a statement. “However, after President Trump’s comments earlier this week, I feel it is in our state’s best interests to end the program.”

“We cannot allow someone like him take advantage of this wonderful program. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if anything like that happened.”

During a conference call with reporters late Saturday night, many questioned Cuomo about whether President Trump and his son would even fall into the correct income bracket to even be able to use it.

But Cuomo insisted that there was still as a chance that Trump could use it since the president never released his full tax returns.

“(President Trump) has never actually released his taxes so we have no idea what really he makes,” Cuomo said. “We just can’t take that kind of risk.”

Under the program, any New York State resident whose family makes up to $100,000 a year, would be able to attend any SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year program as long as they planned to stay in the state for as many years as they used the assistance following graduation. The income cap was going to rise to $125,000 by 2019.

Students at Buffalo State had mixed feelings about the governor’s decision.

“I need the Excelsior Scholarship as much as anyone but I agree with the governor we can’t let someone as terrible as Trump be able to use it,” sophomore Eliza Wlatts said.

Others had given up opportunities to go to more prestigious schools because they wanted to take advantage of the Excelsior Scholarship and are now regretting that decision.

“What the F***! I literally was accepted to Harvard but I came here because it was going to be free,” freshman James Ablesmith said. “Now what am I going to do, I freaking turned down Harvard! Screw you Cuomo!”

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