Beginning this fall semester, New York state schools are offering free tuition to in-state residents. The Excelsior Scholarship is a new incentive to get young, smart students to not only get an education at an affordable cost, but also keep young, skilled workers in the state.

While this could be very beneficial for in-state students, the scholarship does not come without a catch. Students who receive the funding are required to stay in New York  after college for the same number of years  they received funding. They also must agree to only work in the state of New York for the same amount of time they received the scholarship.

Sean Kiziltan / Art Director

Sean Kiziltan / Art Director

While many students will be taking advantage of the Excelsior Scholarship in the years to come, students already in college are being offered the same deal, but they also have to leave what they already know behind.

KSC junior Hannah Weissman said  “Being a junior, I wouldn’t consider it, but when I was applying to colleges, it was a big factor in my decision.”

Now, Weissman is a member of Phi Sigma Sigma and said she wouldn’t want to leave because it gives her a sense of community and it gives her a sense of home.

On the other hand, however, some students are taking it as an opportunity to become a more well-rounded person.

KSC junior Lisa Russo will be finishing up her final semester at KSC this year and will be moving on to one of the many in-state colleges New York has to offer.

Russo said, “I will miss Keene…but I’m excited to leave because it’s a new opportunity for me and it’s a place I can grow, whereas here, I can’t grow anymore, which is why I’m choosing to leave because I need to grow and I’ve stopped growing here and when you go to school, you want to go for education, but more so to grow as a person.”

KSC will now, in the upcoming years, see a little competition when it comes to getting New York state students to come all the way to New Hampshire. Even though for some students it is about the opportunity, for some it is financial need.

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Steven Goetsch said, “We compete with New York for about 30 to 40 students per year… and let’s face it, price point is something that everyone takes a look at when you are purchasing goods or services or an education, and I assume it will be attractive to some of our students from New York state, but I don’t think it will be a significant number of students.”

Goetsch also added that there is a lot more money KSC has to offer in scholarships based off of financial need and also Endowed Scholarships that anyone can apply to. He said that every year, students miss the deadlines to be eligible for these scholarships and it’s a shame because that money would otherwise help towards their education.

The best way to apply for this money, Goetsch said, is for students to make sure their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is in before the March 1 deadline. The FAFSA is available as early as Oct. 1. He also said that the Endowed Scholarships are available by the end of February and are not due until the beginning of April.

Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at asalerno@kscequinox.xom