New York To Become First State With Sanders-Style Free Tuition

With a state budget deal in place ny becomes the first in the nation to offer free college tuition to middle-class students.

For the fall of 2017 if a student attends a New York State university and has a family income below $100,000 he or she will be eligible to receive the Excelsior Scholarship.

The new bill is focused on students doing two- and four-year public college courses whose households earn under $100,000 (2017), $110,000 (2018) or $120,000 (2019). That's because students who use the program to pay for college are required to live and work in NY state for an equal number of years that they received funding.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo first introduced the plan in January, with lawmakers agreeing to include it in the state budget. Another requirement of the scholarship is that students stay in NY state after they graduate for the same number of years they received the scholarship for. The governor's office said it expects it to cost $163 million in the first year, before it's fully phased in. "Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of SUNY, suggested that "[we] may be on the precipice of a new era", by increasing access to four-year colleges who otherwise may not have seen them as possible options, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Thousands of NY residents now have the chance to attend college tuition-free.

The idea of free tuition was thrust into the national conversation by recent presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and as the amount of student loan debt nation wide reached $1.31 trillion in December of 2016.

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As the cost of textbooks can be prohibitively expensive, the Budget also invests $8 million to provide open educational resources, including electronic-books, to students at SUNY and CUNY.

The program pertains to all State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY) schools. The State University of New York (SUNY) has 64 campuses throughout the state.

"I do think we need to take a breath", Dr. Joseph Nyre, president of Iona College, remarked to CBS New York.

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The scholarship is meant to complement other federal and state grants, as the report notes. "I'm so proud to work in a state in which the governor and the legislature realize the value of a college education". For middle-class students attending privately-run schools, the budget includes up to $3,000 in financial assistance, which would have to be matched by the college.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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