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New York Is the First State to Make Tuition Free for Middle Class Students at Public Colleges

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Late Sunday night, the Senate approved New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tuition-free college plan, according to CNN Money.

The plan will go into full effect this fall and will benefit undergraduate students at any two- or four-year public college in New York. According to NBC, the state is creating the Excelsior Scholarship program, which offers full coverage of tuition to students whose families make less than $100,000 a year. That number will rise to $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019.   

Students who qualify for the program will not pay anything for tuition, but they are responsible for room and board and any other outside expenses. Students are also required to be enrolled full-time to receive the scholarship, by enrolling in at least 30 credit hours per academic year, and maintain a minimum GPA requirement that has not been disclosed at this time.

However, according to CNN Money, students who receive the scholarship must upon graduation remain residents of New York and work in the state for the numbers of years they received the scholarship. In other words, if a student received four years of free tuition, they must remain in state upon completion of school and work for four years. If they fail to do so, their scholarship will be converted into a loan.  

While San Francisco, Tennessee and Oregon have made tuition free at community colleges, New York is the first state to expand their resources to all qualifying students for four-year programs as well. So for that we say, thank you, New York!


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