ICYMI: Chancellor Zimpher Discusses “Free College” in Series of Op-Eds for National Higher Education Media

August 16, 2016

In Second Opinion Piece, Zimpher Says Hillary Clinton’s Proposal “Could Not Come at a More Crucial Time”

Washington, DC – In an op-ed published today by The Chronicle of Higher Education, State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher discusses the potential of Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton’s "free college" proposal and holds up successful New York programs as models. It is her second opinion piece on the topic published by national higher education media.

Read Chancellor Zimpher’s op-ed here.

"Hillary Clinton’s stance on public higher education — that every American student should be able to graduate from college debt free and, in millions of cases, tuition free — marks the first time that such a bold, expansive proposal has been put forth by a presidential nominee," Chancellor Zimpher writes.

"For all of the headway New York has made in addressing these challenges, we — and every state — could do so much more if federal policies emulated the already effective state programs that are cutting college costs and student debt.

"If the United States wants to have the most educated work force in the world, both state and federal governments must step up investments in good policy and proven tools."

Chancellor Zimpher points to the success of New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program as well as rational tuition policy, SUNY Smart Track, and the university system’s Completion Agenda as models to consider at the federal level.

In a previous op-ed on the topic of free college, published by Inside Higher Education, Chancellor Zimpher argues that any plan to increase access to public higher education must be accompanied by one to address college readiness, to ensure any investment made is worth it. Read Chancellor Zimpher’s first op-ed here.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit suny.edu.

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