NY To Offer Free In-State College Tuition–But There’s a Catch

Students from families earning less than $125,000 in New York a year will be able to attend college for free. That’s the promise of the Excelsior Scholarship, and it is part of a historic budget deal state lawmakers in New York agreed on yesterday. But there’s a condition: Recipients will be required to remain in the state for a few years after graduation. That helps assure that New York gain the benefit of its investment in these students.

“This is the difference that government can make,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “There is no child who will go to sleep tonight and say I have great dreams, but I don’t believe I’ll be able to get a college education because mommy and daddy can’t afford it. Every child will have the opportunity that education provides.”

About 80% of New York’s families will be eligible for the program by 2019. The current plan is phased-in over the next three years. When the program begins this fall, it will include families earning up to $100,000. The threshold moves to $110,000 in 2018 and will reach the full $125,000 in 2019.

Tuition at SUNY’s four-year schools is currently $6,470, while the community colleges average $4,366 a year. The scholarship will cover any amount of that total that is not covered by

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