New York lawmakers approve free middle class college tuition

New York on verge of tuition-free college for middle class

New York on verge of tuition-free college for middle class

"It's incredibly hard and getting harder to get a college education today".

"While New York succeeded in passing a free tuition program, other states might not see the same degree of success".

NY is set to become the first US state to make tuition free for students at public state universities and community colleges if they come from low- and middle-income families, a proposal that has been endorsed by former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, who promised free college education for all during his campaign. The governor is expected to sign the budget bills. Private schools that participate in the new financial assistance program for private schools would have to match that funding and promise not to raise the student's tuition during their enrollment. "Education is critically important but on the same token we need to continue what we need to do in the budget, we've got to prioritize and we need to make sure we know where we can go", said State Rep. Angelo Puppolo. "And New York State - New York State is going to do something about it". And students who go to community colleges will be required to stay in NY for at least two years after graduating, while students who attend four-year universities will be required to stay for four years.

NY has two public university systems. Almost half of full-time SUNY students, and more than 60% of those at CUNY, already pay nothing for tuition because of need-based federal Pell Grants or New York Tuition Assistance grants.

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A professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, Sara Goldrick-Rab, was among the first people to notice and criticize the unnecessary condition. A measure introduced by Governor Cuomo in January, the legislation was approved by lawmakers this weekend.

At an event in Rochester, Gov. Cuomo told reporters, "If you talk to middle class families in this state, the parents will tell you they worry about being able to pay for college". OR and San Francisco have made community college tuition free of charge and legislation in Rhode Island is rumored to be organizing a proposal similar to New York's for two-year schools, according to CNN. There are also stipulations for minimum GPA and graduating on time.

It will be phased in over the course of the next two years. That cap will bump up to $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019, according to Pix 11. The state is projecting that it will spend $163 million on the first year of the Excelsior Scholarship. However, they will be responsible for costs of room and board and other fees, if they choose to live on campus.

A pedestrian walks past a City University of NY building in NY, U.S., April 11, 2017. If students leave the state, the scholarships become student loans. Projections about how many students will benefit from the program vary; according to the New York Times, Gov. Cuomo's office said 940,000 families are eligible for the benefit, but a legislative analysis said it would be closer to 32,000.

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