The Frank Roundup: Tuition free college? It might be closer than you think

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It looks like there’s plenty of opportunity across the country to get that college education paid for — but you might have to move. 

New Mexico to pay college tuition for all residents

New Mexico is in the running to become one of the standouts in the country in regards to paying for resident tuition. Their progressive free college program is beating the likes of New York, Washington, and Tennessee. The proposal, which is expected to pass, will cover college tuition for all two and four-year state college students. What’s really great about this plan is how many residents will be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

With the plan as it stands, this is who will have access to free college:

  • All students regardless of financial need (low and high-income family incomes will be accepted)
  • Immigrants with residency in the state
  • Adult students returning to school
  • High school graduates
  • Students attending either a two or four-year college

The plan is estimated to cover 55,000 students and cost $25 to $35 million a year. Where will the money come from? They’re using their recent surge in oil production to pay for their resident’s college education.

It’s safe to say New Mexico is doing a whole lot more than congress to get this student debt thing figured out.

Thinking about medical school? It might be time to go

Cornell University’s medical school, Weill Cornell Medicine, announced it will be covering the cost of medical school for all financial aid eligible students moving forward. In a bold move, the school is using a $160 million donation from The Star Foundation towards scholarships to help students cover expenses.

Medical students typically graduate with around $200k in student loan debt. That doesn’t include any credit they use for additional living expenses while they’re in school. Cornell is one of a few medical schools trying to lower the cost of an education for those that want it. Schools offering full tuition coverage include New York University, University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, and UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine

To be eligible for full coverage at Cornell, you have to demonstrate financial need (of which they say 50% of their student body does). For the students who would typically need to take out a ton of student loan debt, which will take years to pay off even working in the medical field, this is great news.

New York could be next to pay college athletes

This week, Sen. Kevin Parker proposed a bill that aims to give student-athletes more monetary rights. Specifically, it will allow college athletes to sell the likeness, as well as require colleges to provide a 15% share of annual revenue to student-athletes. The revenue would be split equally amongst them.

The bill is modeled after the recently passed Fair Pay to Play Act in California, which makes it illegal to punish players who secure endorsement deals. While these bills are controversial, many support them because of how much revenue and attention athletics bring to schools across the country. Particularly where college football and basketball are concerned. Whether it’s revenue from merchandise or ticket sales, athletics are a massive moneymaker.

While there’s no definitive word on whether or not the bill will go into law, Parker said that he has support from other senators and expects that it will.