Approve free college tuition for North Carolina's residents!
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Earlier this year, the state of New York introduced the Excelsior Scholarship, a tuition free program for New York residents. It grants New York's middle class residents free college tuition at any CUNY or SUNY school, making higher education more affordable and easier to access. (Free tuition for New York)
But it's only one state out of fifty taking action. It's progress for New York students, but what about the rest of us? The ones who are frantically applying for the FAFSA, applying for every scholarship available, graduates drowning in student debt. It's time consuming, it's stressful, and it's sending graduates off to a rocky start. Having to juggle debt and other finances right off the bat? Yikes.
As a resident of North Carolina and a high school senior, I keep watching New York with jealousy while internally semi-panicking, thinking about the FAFSA and scholarship deadlines. Recently, I asked a teacher and one of my classes if NC should do the same for NC residents- my teacher agreed and I was startled by my class's (very loud) reactions, agreeing as well. Now, it may only be a tiny silver of the North Carolina population who feel this way, but I strongly feel many other NC residents will agree.
I did some digging around, and I found out that interestingly enough, Roy Cooper's (NC Governor) mother was a school teacher. Not only that, he's dedicated a part of his public service to education and our students to ensure a good education for all. Roy Cooper, I can trust that you can acknowledge that education creates more opportunities, creates more jobs, and is something that everyone should have access to. Can you follow in Governor Cuomo's (New York) footsteps? Can you work with Margaret Spellings, president of the UNC system (and former US Secretary of Education), to ensure this right for North Carolina's residents?
Why is it that we have to pay to access higher education in order to create a better future for us and future generations to come? We've had free access to public schools but costs to continue on into public university. New York is advancing, it's only soon enough that another state will follow their footsteps. North Carolina should be next to follow. If you agree, please sign this petition for North Carolina's government to approve free tuition for middle class NC residents in all 17 UNC schools.
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