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Free SUNY tuition would increase college access, reduce debt

Jahrel Holt has applied to a mix of colleges but is also trying to avoid going deep into debt financing his college education. “It would be hard for me to pay it off,” said Holt, 17, a senior at the Rochester City School District’s Edison Career and Technology High School.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tuition-free proposal for public colleges in New York could make a big difference to Holt and many others in a state where students who borrow have ended up on average $32,200 in debt.

Holt has been accepted by Roberts Wesleyan College, but has yet to learn what kind of financial aid package he’ll be offered. And he’s waiting to hear whether he got into Buffalo State College, which is part of the State University of New York system.

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