Gov. Cuomo lays out plans for loan forgiveness

Najee Walker, Reporter

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent proposals on student loan and loan forgiveness are focused on the SUNY system and its students.

If Cuomo’s proposals get approved, students attending SUNY colleges and universities could have less debt and would be able to pay back their loans within the next few years.

The proposals would work in a few different ways. Students who major in education and pursuing a teaching career will likely recieve a full tuition payment, not owing a dime back to any loan agencies or banks. In addition to the federal established “Pay as You Earn” (PAYE) program, Cuomo also introduced his own intiative: “Get On Your Feet” Loan Forgiveness. The program would cover the leftover tuition costs incured for those enrolled in PAYE.

Gov. Cuomo’s idea did not fall on deaf ears.

Students, higher education advocates, and even graduate students are looking forward to seeing this plan in action. Although the plan will not be fully in motion until the Fall of 2019, Buffalo State students are happy to see such programs coming forth.

“Busting our butts to afford college gets overwhelming at times,” said senior history major Steve Szymanski.

Szymanski works full-time while also attending classes full-time and says that it can be rough to juggle at moments, but given the cost of college, it is something he understands he must do.

Recent hospitality graduate Jessica Ostrowski also agrees.

“This plan would be a huge help,” Ostrowski said. “It’s difficult finding a job, especially one that will cover the cost of regular living expenses and student loans.”

Ostrowski graduated in the fall semester of 2014 and has about $40,000 in student loans to repay.

“I’m extremely nervous about how I’m going to repay it.” Ostrowski said. She believes that such a plan would be helpful toward current students and will encourage graduation amongst students in the SUNY system.

Buffalo State could also see a large enrollment in teaching programs with this new plan in place. “I think that in particular, the teaching program will help recruit teachers to come into master programs,” said Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner.

Conway-Turner believes that it’ll be exciting for the State of New York, and in particular Buffalo State, due to having an “outstanding tradition of teach education.”

“We are ready to bring those new students onto campus and for the next generation of outstanding teachers,” Conway-Turner said. “I’m very happy to see that the governor understands the importance of teacher education and supporting students to go forth and become teachers.”


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