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New York Makes History as First State to Offer Free College Tuition

New York Makes History as First State to Offer Free College Tuition

Students can receive up to $5,500 in scholarship money, but it's a last minute dollar award - meaning students that qualify for the program can get money after they've received other funding.

Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday, April 12, at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City as he signed legislation enacting a plan to make state and community college education tuition-free. The cost of college is now out of sight. "It's incredibly expensive and debt is so high it's like starting a race with an anchor tied to your leg". Students must still foot the bill for room and board.

Per the initiative, students who do get the scholarship must live and work in NY after graduation for the same amount of years as they receive funding. If this clause is ignored, the scholarship will turn into a loan. Some New York lawmakers spoke out against the requirement, because it excludes those students who are enrolled just part time.

The Excelsior Scholarship plan crafted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will apply to any ny student whose family has an annual income of $125,000 or less. It only pays for half of the cost of attending college, and requires students to attend college full time. It also won't cover undocumented students, who now aren't eligible for state financial aid.

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Tuition-free college just became a reality in NY.

But tuition-free plan is receiving criticism from some private college leaders. In 2017, families earning less than $100,000 annually will be eligible. The cap for eligibility will be raised to $110,000 in 2018 and to $125,000 in 2019.

New and current students may apply.

The initiative is included in a $153 billion state budget proposal that passed the state Senate.

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According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon, Tennessee and Minnesota now have programs in place to cover two-year college tuition for qualifying residents. The Governor's plan had fewer stipulations. "I hope students, families, and educators across the country will continue to speak out on this issue, and call on more states to follow suit".

NY has become the first state in the country to offer free tuition to public colleges and universities, CNN reports. Oregon, Tennessee and the city of San Francisco already made community college tuition-free for residents.

What does NY state consider middle class?

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