SUNY Corning President Hopes Student Debt Relief Program Keeps College Attractive

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VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – SUNY Corning has launched a financial aid program that targets student debt.  Barons Brought Back is open to students who owe  $1,500 or less, have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and who are earning 12 or more college credits per semester.

SUNY Corning President Bill Mullaney. Photo courtesy SUNY Corning

Corning President Bill Mullaney said the money may not seem like a lot to some people, but it can be significant for students at the community college. “We have a lot of students who really live paycheck-to-paycheck,” he said. “Sometimes have to choose between going to the doctor or paying their tuition bills.”

The program is coincidental with the state-funded Excelsior Scholarship. It gives free college tuition at New York schools to students with a household income $125,000 or less a year. 

Mullaney, who took over a SUNY Corning this month, said the program can cover some students who don’t qualify for the state scholarship.  Plus, it allows his college to compete with the four-year schools.

“If they’re able to go free to college, a lot of them will gravitate to the four years,” Mullaney said.

The program will operate on a rolling basis. That means in December 2020, the school will again evaluate the program and its future.