Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

NY makes tuition free, but students must stay after college

NY makes tuition free, but students must stay after college

One wrinkle in the proposal is that students who take advantage of the free tuition must remain in New York State after graduation for as many years as they earned the benefit. Lawmakers agreed to include it in the state's budget, which was finally approved by the Assembly and Senate over the weekend, CNN Money reports.

Cuomo has toured the state in recent days to promote the program, the first of its kind in the nation, after it was included in the state budget approved Sunday night.

In this photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton applauds as Gov. Cuomo speaks from the podium at LaGuardia Community College in the Queens borough of New York, Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

The most commonly asked question asked to Onondaga Community College President Casey Crabill about SUNY's free tuition is "how can I sign up?" If there is a shortfall, scholarships will either be cut, meaning that tuition won't be completely covered, or they will be awarded by lottery, such that not all who are eligible will receive the award. "If you don't want to stay here, then go to California now, let them pay for your college education", Cuomo told state editorial writers.

Students must remain in NY for as many years as they received the benefit. If they take a job in another state they must pay the money back as a loan. This income cap will be gradually raised to $125,000 over the next three years, according to NBC News. By 2019, the income ceiling will reach $125,000.

He says more than 80% of his students pay for their education with financial aid.

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Christy adds that D'Youville's fees, including room and board, compare favorably with SUNY schools.

The Governor's landmark Excelsior scholarship program provides free tuition to thousands of middle class families, making our state a national leader. You can get great tips on filling out the FAFSA, looking for scholarships and more in "5 Ways to Dramatically Reduce the Cost of College". The Excelsior Scholarship, approved over the weekend as part of the state budget, would cover full-time students in the State University of NY system, which totals 64 campuses and 1.3 million students.

"It doesn't say you can't move out of the state...it says you can move out of the state, but if you do before four years, the grant becomes a loan and you repay the loan".

Then there is the fact that free tuition is not free college.

Ironically, Reim points out those without a college degree themselves will end up paying for the state's free college program. And decades after the video-recording of police interrogations became common nationwide, NY will now require it, a protection for the police and prosecutors and the accused.

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