New York lawmakers approve free middle class college tuition

13 April, 2017, 02:35 | Author: Kristopher Anderson

Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced the tuition-free plan in January.

Included in the budget bills is a measure to fully fund tuition costs at public universities and colleges for undergraduate students from families earning under $125,000 a year.

Once students graduate, they will be required to live and work in NY for the same number of years after graduation as the number of years they received the scholarship.

The threshold for qualification will increase to $110,000 next year and to $125,000 in 2019. At a SUNY school, fees cost $1,590 annually and room and board for those living on campus was $12,590 this year.

There are a few terms and conditions, like the requirement that students have to take 30 credits per year and have to live and work in NY for the same number of years they received the aid after graduation.

The high cost of college tuition can plague a graduate years after they've received their degree, thanks to student loans.

Though other places have free community college, NY is the first to make tuition free at four-year public colleges as well. The program will begin this fall, with about a three-year development period to follow. Under the plan, in-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less can participate.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is set to make tuition at public colleges and universities free for middle-class students.

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"You're not giving the student the money that would help them with the choice of where they want to go to school", Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities president Mary Beth Labate said to the New York Times.

What does NY state consider middle class?

At the press conference, Cuomo signed what he calls the Middle Class Recovery Act, bringing this area from a state of depression to a city of success.

For some students the cost of college plays a major role in their decision whether to move on to higher education. Those students will not be eligible for the scholarship.

Although there are many unanswered questions about the Excelsior Scholarship Program, both the president of SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam are excited about the program since so many of their students come from NY state.

"If Skoufis thinks 80% of all NY families is too few students, he should go back to school himself and take a remedial math course", Azzopardi said.

It is revealed about 80 percent of the families in NY with college-age kids could use the Excelsior Scholarship program. The initiative also includes $19 million for a tuition award program for students at private colleges.

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