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."

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[DIGEST, June 1, 2015, Boston Globe, NY Times, LA Times] Admission to an Ivy League college is a dream for many young Americans. As gaining entrance into these schools grows more difficult with each year, students increasingly have turned to independent advisors and counselors for help. The majority of students who consult these college counselors are Asian American. And the advice they are receiving can be jarring: Be less Asian.

As reported in the Boston Globe, college applications strategist Brian Taylor advises Asian families on how to get their kids into Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale. His advice for them: “We will make them appear less Asian when they apply,” he says. “While it is controversial, this is what we do."

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Stanford graduate students (CREDIT: AP/PAUL SAKUMA)

Last week, Stanford University announced that more accepted students won’t have to pay anything for tuition, which normally runs nearly $46,000 a year.

Students whose families make less than $125,000 a year and have assets worth $300,000 or less, including home equity but excluding anything that they have saved in retirement accounts, won’t have to pay tuition. Students whose families make less than $65,000 also won’t have to pay for room and board, which can run about another $14,100. Scholarships or grants will cover the costs instead, and the school has a $21 billion endowment. The thresholds were previously $100,000 for free tuition and $60,000 for free room and board.

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