NY will offer free public university education

Top Tri State News

Top Tri State News

On Saturday, the Assembly approved the tuition-free plan - which Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced in January - as part of the 2017-2018 state budget.

In-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less will be eligible. In the first year, the cap will be no more than $100,000 per year, then $110,000 in 2018, and $125,000 in 2019. In addition, students must complete 30 credit hours a year to remain eligible.

Cuomo said the credit requirement was flexible to allow any student facing hardship the chance to pause and restart their program, or take fewer credits if needed.

Crabill expects it to help a certain kind of student - not one in great financial need, because they would already be getting help from the state's Tuition Assistance Program and federal Pell Grants.

Other expenses such as room and board, which can cost up to US$12,590, would not be covered under the plan. Typical fees in a SUNY school runs at $1,590 per year, with books adding $1,000 on top of that.

After graduation, students who are given the scholarship must then remain living and working in NY for a minimum of the same number of years they had been given the funding.

It further states a recipient will "sign a contract with [HESC] to have his or her full award converted to a student loan according to a schedule to be determined by the corporation if such student fails to fulfill this requirement".

NY became the first state to waive college tuition for middle-class students with the passage of a bill in its Senate.

Some are also concerned that the new program could be a smokescreen for a backdoor tuition hike, amounting to $200 per year over the next five years, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported on Monday. Cuomo attempted to make undocumented students eligible, but lawmakers did not include that clause in the final budget. But New York will be the first state to offer to cover its residents' tuition at four-year colleges. "And it's an idea that is going to reverberate not only throughout the state of NY, but throughout this country".

But they also said they had "hoped for additional support", especially for SUNY community colleges, which they expect to have more students because of the scholarship. Tennessee and OR already have made tuition free at community colleges, with Rhode Island debating a plan to fund two years of tuition at its public colleges.

"The Excelsior program that provides free tuition in SUNY and CUNY schools in the State of ny is off the chain!" shouted Crystal People Stokes, State Assembly woman from Buffalo.

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