New York Offers Free Four-Year College Studies For Residents

by Marta Holmes April 14, 2017, 14:39
New York Offers Free Four-Year College Studies For Residents

Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced the tuition-free plan in January. Cuomo is expected to officially sign the budget bills, according to CNN Money.

The program, known as the Excelsior Scholarship, will begin by offering a full scholarship to students with a family income of under $100,000 a year. By 2019, the income cap will be raised to $125,000. Students for those schools have been accepted and deposits have to go in May 1. For example, if a student participated in the program for four years, they must live and work in the state for four years.

Recipients of the scholarship will have to enroll in 30 credits per year but will be allowed the flexibility to take fewer credits in one semester than another. There are also stipulations for minimum GPA and graduating on time. To avoid paying back loans, students must stay in NY for the same amount of time they received free tuition in college.

Eligible students will not have to pay the $6,470 annual tuition cost at four-year institutions and about $4,350 a year at community colleges. The requirement was not part of the initial proposal by the governor.

He argues the free tuition through the Excelsior Scholarship program is not as robust as media reports make it out to be, and private schools recognize the need to make college accessible and affordable.

Now, per USA Today, when it is already fully phased in, Cuomo estimates that 940,000 people would be able to qualify for the program.

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State four-year schools in NY cost $6,470 per year to attend, with community colleges costing $4,350 per year.

Could students lose the scholarship?

SUNY Chairman Carl McCall and Chancellor Nancy Zimpher praised the plan in a statement, calling it "truly ground-breaking".

Goldrick-Rab said if scholarship recipients choose to leave the state, the scholarship becomes a loan.

Republican lawmakers pushed for the requirement during closed-door state budget negotiations. "I don't care where you come from, you're going to get a public education at a college in the State of NY", declared Governor Cuomo. Those students would get a maximum award of $3,000.

How much will SUNY and CUNY cost students now?

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