by: Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
ALBANY, N.Y. – Tuition is free at public colleges and universities to any New York student from a middle class family under a state budget plan expected to pass Sunday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Excelsior Scholarship” would apply to families with an annual income of $125,000 or less with a student who was accepted to the state’s four year colleges or universities.
“Today, college is what high school was — it should always be an option even if you can’t afford it,” Cuomo said in a post on Medium. “The Excelsior Scholarship will make college accessible to thousands of working and middle class students, and shows the difference that government can make.”
It is part of a $153 billion state budget proposal that passed the state Assembly on Saturday. The state Senate plans to take up the spending plan Sunday.
It would be phased in over the next three years, applying to residents who make $100,000 annually in 2017 and increasing to $125,000 by 2019.
Students would have to meet certain class load and grade point average requirements to qualify. Housing and other costs would not be covered under the plan.
Students would also be required to work and live in the state for as many years as they had the scholarship.