Free college in New York and how it will work

Madison Rexroat

Tuition-free college in New York was approved over the weekend, making it the first state to offer free tuition at four-year public colleges. However, there are some intricacies to the new policy.

To receive the Excelsior Scholarship (which is what the new policy is called), students must be enrolled full-time at a SUNY (State University of New York) or CUNY (City University of New York), so no NYU or Columbia, unfortunately. A student’s family should earn no more than $100,000 a year, but that cap will be increased to $125,000 over the next two years.

Students who graduate with the scholarship must also live and work in New York for the same number of years that they received the scholarship. Otherwise, the funding will turn into a student loan.

Although the scholarship covers tuition, it doesn’t make college totally free. The scholarship only includes tuition, not room and board or other expenses like textbooks and meal plans. It also only considers family income, but not how many children a family has.

As for who will pay for the new policy, the state budget permits SUNY and CUNY to raise tuition by $200 a year. The state will also increase spending on higher education. 

To read the full article by CNN Money, click here.