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The Murphy Plan: Free tuition 2021?

By: Stacey Suero

While I was watching TV, my mother had called me over to discuss what she saw on the news; it was about how Governor Phil Murphy wants to make tuition free for low income students for two years starting in the fall 2021. It’s called the Garden State Guarantee Program, and if it is approved, then the program would be launched to all 11 four year public colleges and universities. I asked PCCC students a few questions after I told them about Murphy's program.

Katherine Seferin, 22, said, “I would feel relieved; I wouldn’t have to worry about tuition.” She also stated that she would only have to pay for books and would not be so stressed out about it.

Angel Camacho, 21, who works for financial aid, stated, “It helps a lot since students don’t have FAFSA; it would help students gain their education better. It would be rewarding even though it's challenging.” After explaining Murphy’s program plan to Katherine Colon, 18, I asked her since the free tuition may last for two years, do you think Governor Murphy will extend it to four years? Colon stated, “I think he’s only going to keep it for two years because of financial aid. They gotta make their money from somewhere.” When I also asked her if it’s because of money, she stated that she believes that even if we are in community college, it would benefit us because it’s cheaper. Murphy’s plan seems like a good plan for all students to be a part of, so when I asked if Murphy’s plan would be approved for free tuition, this is what Daniel Quevedo-Sanchez, 19, said, “I think it is because people can benefit from it, and it would make a change for the community,” He also said that not only would it allow them to go to college, it would be a weight off of them. I always had a question that I never voiced out loud until I asked a student this peculiar question: Why do you believe the U.S. is taking so long for universities to have free tuition? Kevin Gerlein, 20, responded “I would say some taxpayers wouldn’t agree because some taxpayers that are conservative would say that they wouldn’t pay for a kid’s education if they’re going to waste it.” As expensive as some colleges and universities are and this next question is a long shot, I asked one student if the U.S will ever have free tuition in each and every single state? Cristal Pena, 21 said, “I think it’s possible but it will take some work for that to happen. I believe they can do it but it will take a long time.” I hope that this a plan that will be approved because it will benefit the students of New Jersey who are from low income families. And who wants to have a higher education no matter what college they go to, and that money should never get in the way of a student wanting to learn more about a major they love, soon come to love, or to soon discover what they will love.

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