New York has now become the first state to make tuition free for middle-class students.
For students whose families make under $100,000 per year, they will receive free tuition to any public college or university in New York. This budget will be phased in over three years and cap off at $125,000 in 2019. However, students who live on campus must still pay for fees, and room and board.
The initiative was created by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. According to CBSNEWS.com, Cuomo said “College is today, is what high school was 50 years ago. If you’re a young person who wants success and a career, a college education is necessary.”
While the initiative is a way for middle-class students who qualify to get an education for free, there are strings attached. After graduation, students who receive the scholarship must stay in the state for the same number of years that they receive the scholarship. Should they choose to leave the state after graduation, the scholarship will become a loan that they must pay back. For students to receive the scholarship, they must be a citizen, permanent resident, or refugee and must be enrolled as a full time student.
This new initiative will be in place for the fall 2017 semester and it is an option to be considered for students looking for a way to pay for their education.