Saturday, 18 November, 2017

New York lawmakers approve free middle class college tuition

New York lawmakers approve free middle class college tuition New York lawmakers approve free middle class college tuition
Elaine Woods | 13 April, 2017, 02:32

The $163 billion state budget and its incentives are the brainchild of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who believes college "should be an option even if you can't afford it". Lawmakers agreed to include it in the state budget, which was approved by the Assembly on Saturday and by the Senate late Sunday night.

In light of the budget passing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo arrived in Buffalo to talk about his success in doing just that - claiming the catch phrase "got it done". The income cap will be raised incrementally over the next three years, to $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019. According to the Upjohn Institute, at least 85 initiatives at the municipal and state level are present, their aim is to cover the cost of tuition at community colleges.

However, they will have to pay for room and board and fees. Eligible students must be enrolled full-time and average 30 credits per years to receive funding. It would "fill in the gap" between what students already receive in financial aid, contribute from a part time job or receive in contributions from family members.

"New York State has always been a pioneer in education", said Clinton.

Students must live in NY after graduation for the same number of years they receive the award, or they will need to repay the award.

The high cost of college tuition can plague a graduate years after they've received their degree, thanks to student loans. The requirement was not part of the initial proposal by the governor.

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The scholarship is meant to complement other federal and state grants, as the report notes.

As for who will pay for the new policy, the state budget permits SUNY and CUNY to raise tuition by $200 a year.

Undocumented students are not eligible, CNN Money reported.

SUNY Chairman Carl McCall and Chancellor Nancy Zimpher praised the plan in a statement, calling it "truly ground-breaking".

The tuition-free college program was approved after NY state lawmakers approved the state's $153 billion budget.

To qualify for the program, aside from the qualifying annual income bracket, a student would have to meet certain class loads and GPA restrictions. Labate added that the provision for freezing tuition during a student's attendance at a private college "would be bureaucratically difficult" and "colleges would have to ask if it was worth it".

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