Television ads featuring starry-eyed millennials thanking New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a chance at higher learning cropped up on screens across the state this summer. The ads, paid for by the governor’s campaign, tout him as a “proven leader who gets real results.”
Yet as Cuomo campaigns against the left-leaning primary challenge from actress Cynthia Nixon, the results of his free college-tuition program, the Excelsior Scholarship, aren’t as real as he would have New Yorkers believe. Defectum might be a more appropriate Latin moniker for the program.
After presiding over years of funding cuts and tuition increases for New York’s public universities, Cuomo announced the free-tuition plan in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential campaign and invited Bernie Sanders to share the stage with him when it was inaugurated in January 2017.