While the Presidential tour continues to the west, thousands more college students moved into their dorm rooms in this part of the state Thursday. YNN's Geoff Redick joined us from in front of the University at Albany with more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- It was a madhouse earlier. People going in every direction, packing themselves into the dorm rooms here at UAlbany. A few of the freshmen and their parents took time to speak with us earlier about the college experience that lays ahead and the biggest concerns we heard were: Did I make the right choice for college and how am I going to pay for this?
When you're moving into college, it helps to have some directions.
The President of the United States believes direction is also helpful in choosing your college. That's why the President rolled out a new plan in New York Thursday, to rate all colleges in America based upon how well they perform.
"Well I mean, then you kind of know what you're getting into. You know what you're paying for then. You don't want to pay $60,000 a year to go to a school. That's awful," said freshman Mike Foley.
Mike Foley had heard good things about UAlbany, but admits he's still not sure of the school's reputation. Foley says a ratings system would've helped with that.
Fellow freshman Amber Prince did a bit more research on her own before choosing UAlbany.
"It was the closest to my house. And I liked the communications major," Prince said.
Prince supports the idea of rating colleges. But we told her the President wants to give more federal aid, to students who attend those better-performing schools. That idea doesn't sit so well with Prince.
"If you can't afford it and you want to come to a state university, you should get just as much money," Prince said.
"My daughter gets zero financial aid. It's $22,000 out of my pocket," said Miriam Canela.
Canela's priorities are entirely elsewhere. She just moved her third child into college Wednesday, but the single mother receives no federal aid for tuition because of her personal income.
"The fact that I have other kids in college and I'm a single mom and I have all the bills to pay. The fact that I get paid $50,000, $80,000 or $100,000, that doesn't say that I can afford a $22,000 college."
She'd like the President to focus on changing the eligibility for federal aid and would also like to see federal awards for high school students who perform well before college.
Canela said, "My kid's is a 97 point average. And there's no scholarship for her to apply."
To be sure, everyone we talked to at UAlbany knows they're lucky and privileged to be able to attend college. Each person expressed an interest in college being more affordable for everyone. We'll just have to see whether the President's plans can accomplish that feat.