Free tuition at New York state universities for top STEM students?

by Grace

The proposed New York State budget includes a provision to offer free tuition to top students who choose to major in STEM fields.

“New this year under the governor’s budget proposal, some students at the top of their classes will have a chance to skip tuition payments entirely. Those who plan to major in a field related to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects would receive free tuition to any SUNY or CUNY institution, as long as they remain in the state for five years after graduation to pursue their careers. The $8 million budget line is intended to help reverse the “brain drain” of the best and brightest from New York State.”

Students must graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class to qualify for the scholarships.

Details must be worked out.

Final budget approval is expected this spring.  Questions have been raised about how the requirement to stay in the state for five years after graduation would affect students who wish to attend graduate school.  One estimate predicts funding is only sufficient for 166 four-year scholarships, so it is possible that demand will be greater than supply.

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5 Comments to “Free tuition at New York state universities for top STEM students?”

  1. My ears are perking up. Though how would the 5 year requirement work when most STEM majors need to go on to graduate school, which typically takes them out of state?

  2. I’m wondering about job prospects in the state. If NY is having a hard time keeping its STEM students in state, that suggests a dearth of opportunities within the state. What happens when a recipient of one of these scholarships isn’t able, upon graduation, to find a job in NY?

  3. I expect there will be modifications and exceptions made to that 5-year requirement.

    Do most STEM majors really need graduate school? Remember, STEM can encompass many fields, including technical careers that only require a bachelor’s or even an associate degree.

  4. “I’m wondering about job prospects in the state.”

    Other parts of the proposal provide funding for job creation. I’m a bit skeptical about the chances of success.

    If my child were interested in this scholarship program, I’d be prepared to have to pay back funds in case a good job did not materialize in NYS. IOW, I’d consider it in terms of a loan.

  5. Reblogged this on The College Money Man Blog and commented:
    Now here is a great way to encourage STEM applicants

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