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Governor Andrew Cuomo says  that approximately 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students, more than 210,000 New York residents, are going to school tuition-free thanks to the addition of students receiving the Excelsior Scholarship. Nearly 22,000 students will be getting that new scholarship.

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New York State is planning to expand opportunities for college courses in some state prisons. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Manhattan D-A Cyrus Vance say $7.3 million will provide college-level education and training for  more than 2,500 prisoners across the state.

The money comes from large bank settlements secured by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. 

Among the programs in this region will be classes at the Albion Correctional facility, provided by Medaille College and Five Points Correctional Facility, with services provided by Cornell University.

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(AP) - New York college students can apply for the state's free tuition plan beginning June 7.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Board of Trustees approved Excelsior Scholarship regulations last week.

The initiative was a key priority for Cuomo. It covers tuition at state universities for full-time, in-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less.

Students must pay out of pocket for room, board and other expenses.

Recently, we heard from Nazareth College President Daan Braveman, who wanted to stress the point that the cost of college is not rising as quickly as many people seem to think. That's because the sticker price is not the same as the actual price most students pay.

But University of Rochester graduate and author Kevin Connell counters that there is indeed a crisis in higher education. His new book, Breaking Point, is being released, and Connell is back in Rochester for a book talk. First, he joins us on Connections to discuss the problems he sees, along with possible solutions.

When Nazareth College President Daan Braveman said on a recent show that the cost of college is not rising as much as people think, many listeners called or wrote to the program, asking for clarification.

We look at the facts: actual price versus sticker price. Help for low-income families. Needs-blind admissions. The impact of schools being pushed to have much nicer amenities. In the end, we hope to have a clearer picture about the cost of higher education for students, families, and taxpayers. Our guests:

  • Daan Braveman, president of Nazareth College
  • Ian Mortimer, vice president for enrollment management at Nazareth College

Millennials are having less sex than any generation in 60 years. Does this mean that the stereotypes are wrong? What's behind it?

It's interesting timing because students are heading back to college, where -- surprise! -- not as many students are having sex as incoming freshmen tend to think. That's the backdrop to our discussion with Nora Bradbury Haehl, a veteran of youth ministry and the co-author of The Freshman Survival Guide. Her book is the Christian-based advice guide that defies most stereotypes of Christian advice guides.

From sex and relationships to cheating on exams, from respecting people of different backgrounds to mental health, we discuss how incoming freshmen see their new world.

Hillary Clinton - in a nod to Bernie Sanders - is proposing free tuition at public colleges and universities for roughly 80% of American students. Politico reports that the plan is already under sharp attack by private college presidents, who say it could rob families of choice and put some private colleges out of business. The Clinton campaign says it's about making higher education more accessible. Our panel discusses it:

Non-tenured faculty members at the University of Rochester are considering forming a union to help adjunct and contingent professors improve their compensation. They could join colleagues at more than 40 colleges around the country who have unionized.

Those who support unionization say it would improve adjunct faculty members’ standard of living, provide a more stable environment for students, and increase retention and graduation rates. Opponents argue that it will result in fewer jobs, larger class sizes, and less money being available for scholarships and tuition relief.  

Our panel discusses both sides of the issue. Our guests:

  • Lisa Cerami, adjunct professor of German at Nazareth College
  • Matt Witten, adjunct professor of contemporary music at the University of Rochester, Monroe Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Rowan University, and D’Youville College
  • Christopher Niemiec, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Rochester
  • Miles Meth, University of Rochester student in favor of the union
  • Darya Nicol, University of Rochester student in favor of the union

We've talked to a number of students who hate the FAFSA forms: confusing; unnecessarily long, with questions that seem irrelevant. Now, imagine a student in poverty being confronted with such forms. We know that many students who are eligible for financial aid never even apply. But is higher education still a good value? What is the ROI we can expect?

The annual event known as FAFSA Fest is underway, and our panel explains what help is out there. Our guests:

  • Pat Braus, executive director, Rochester Education Foundation
  • Gabe Iturbides, assistant director, Access Opportunity Programs at SUNY Geneseo; and member, Rochester College Access Network
  • Cortez Jones, RCSD graduate and now branch manager, Culver-Ridge branch for ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Kim McKinsey-Mabry, interim dean of academic services and affirmative action coordinator, MCC; and Rochester Education Foundation Board member

We take a look at campus sexual assault legislation. It's a look at Title IX as it relates to sexual violence on college campuses. Governor Cuomo and Lt. Governor Hochul have been pursuing a bill that is sometimes known as "yes means yes" or "verbalized consent" in regards to sexual activity. Our panel explains how it would work, how the law could change, and we'll answer listener questions. Our panel:

  • Christopher Thomas, partner with Nixon Peabody
  • Catherine Cerulli, University of Rochester Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership
  • Morgan Levy, University of Rochester Compliance and Title IX Coordinator

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