SUNY schools provide a first-rate education
In the Another Voice column on April 20, the Daemen College president takes issue with the Excelsior Scholarship (free SUNY tuition) program recently passed by the State Legislature. He’s protecting his turf, I suppose, which is understandable even though his rationale in doing so is specious at best, i.e., he said that “only” 3 percent of eligible students can be awarded an Excelsior Scholarship, but that’s 3 percent more than this past year who will be assisted financially. He also complains that there are “restrictions” on the scholarship, but the ones called for are not especially onerous.
As a SUNY graduate and a retired SUNY employee, I find it somewhat offensive that he also insinuates that a SUNY education is just not as “first rate” as one provided by a private college. That is patently untrue and is a silly argument to put forth. Both types of institutions have their place and those worth their salt create an environment where students who work hard can receive top-notch educations. He ends his column by saying, “You get what you pay for.” Is he implying that only by paying through the nose at private colleges can students realize their true potential? I think not.
My hope is that the Excelsior Scholarship can be tweaked and expanded in the future so that more of our state’s residents can go to college without incurring burdensome debts. The more post-secondary education our citizens have, the better, because the days of being able to support a family with factory work are gone.