In January, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a plan that would make attending college a lot easier for the state’s families. It may have seemed like a lofty dream at the time, but it was just approved.
A plan to offer residents free tuition to state institutions was approved and will take effect for the 2017-2018 school-year.
CNN reports that undergraduate students who attends a State University of New York or City University of New York school will be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship as long as their families don’t make more than $100,000 a year. This income limit will ideally rise to $125,000 by 2019.
“Today, college is what high school was — it should always be an option even if you can’t afford it,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.
Students who receive the scholarship will need to take 30 credits a year and remain in the state for however many years they were recipients, according to an addition to Cuomo’s January proposal. If not, the scholarship will be transitioned into a loan they’ll be expected to pay back. If students choose to live on campus, they’ll still be expected to pay for room and board.
Many college students and recent graduates are burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.With this new development, New York is the first state to offer free tuition to four-year institutions. The approval of this plan is a sign that things are headed in the right direction.