Wednesday, January 29, 2014


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Assemblyman proposes free tuition at SUNY, CUNY in return for community service

ALBANY – State Assemblyman James Skoufis (D, Woodbury) proposed legislation on Tuesday to provide free undergraduate tuition for all students who have been admitted to SUNY or CUNY and who fulfill requirements of community service and residency after graduation.

Skoufis’ “Tuition-Free NY” measure would relieve students from the average debt of over $25,000.

“This bill lets you go to any SUNY or CUNY tuition-free if you commit to 250 hours or community service with a 501-c-3 or community benefit project and you also have to commit to staying and working in New York for at least five years after graduation,” he said.

The Skoufis bill has 30 Assembly sponsors. In the Senate, Diane Savino (IDC, Staten Island) will sponsor the bill.

SUNY Orange President William Richard said one of the goals at the college is “to enhance student awareness of the value of community service and civil responsibility.” He said the legislation “will help build stronger communities here in Orange County.”

SUNY Rockland President Clifford Woods said the plan “would carry a variety of potential benefits ranging from expanding accessibility to community revitalization to increased economic growth.”