Over the weekend, it was announced that New York's State Senate was moving forward with approving the next year's fiscal budget which included a bill that would make college tuition free at two and four-year public colleges for middle-class families.
Starting Fall 2017, students will be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship if their families earn less than $100,000 per year. That cap will bump up to $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019, according to Pix 11. This scholarship could possibly help more than 940,000 families with college-age children across New York state.
As we know, to receive anything "free" in this country, there's a catch. Eligible students must be enrolled full-time and average 30 credits per years to receive funding. They must also maintain a passing grade point average. Recipients must also stay in-state after college for the same number of years that they got free tuition, otherwise, their scholarship will be converted into loans. Room and board expenses will not be covered under this plan.
The budget also has $19 million for a new tuition award program for students at private colleges.