New York To Offer Free Tuition At Four-Year Public Unversities
Andrew Cuomo, who announced the proposal in January alongside former Democratic presidential candidate Sen Bernie Sanders, hailed the deal as an historic opportunity for hundreds of thousands of families in the Empire State.
The state’s Excelsior Scholarship program will be rolled out in tiers over the next three years, starting with full coverage of four-year college tuition this fall for students whose families make less than $100,000. That income cap will be raised to $110,000 by the end of next year and $125,000 by 2019.
Students must take 30 credits a year to get the scholarship, a requirement that some lawmakers have outwardly opposed. Cuomo, however, said the number of credits required is “flexible”, but not enough to cover part-time students. These students have another choice, though: pay back their college tuition fees. “Most students need room and board, that’s where the big expenses are”.
There is, of course, a slight catch: Students will have to work in-state after graduation for the same amount of years they receive the scholarship.
UB’s current tuition is $6,770 for New York State residents and $23,270 for out-of-state residents.
NY has become the first state in the country to offer free tuition to public colleges and universities, CNN reports. Having more educated workers will attract businesses to NY, he says.
“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. The Budget also includes $8 million to provide open education resources to students at SUNY and CUNY colleges. In addition to the income requirement, students will still have to apply for federal Pell grants and scholarships, and the state will only cover the costs that are left over.
She called the plan “an idea whose time has come”, according to reports, and called for other states to follow New York’s lead. Students must be a citizen, permanent resident or refugee to qualify for the scholarship.
“I was on the train reading the article and it was just a “phew” moment for me”, Charalampous, who studies biology at the City College of New York (CCNY), said on Tuesday, referring to the launch of the new program. They will impose the price hike to students whose parents earn more than the stated tuition threshold.