New York lawmakers approve free middle class college tuition

Getty ImagesGov. Andrew Cuomo

Do graduates have to stay in NY?

For future students who wish to enrol tuition-free at the campuses of the State University of NY or the City University of NY, they must be on full-time courses with at least 30 course credits a year, with leeway given for those facing hardship. A proposed program in Rhode Island that would make the first two years at one of the state's public colleges tuition-free has met some resistance, even from Democrats.

Under the program, any tuition that is not covered by federal Pell Grants and New York's Tuition Assistance Program will be covered, meaning it is a "last dollar" program. Students must be a citizen, permanent resident or refugee to qualify for the scholarship.

The State Senate approved the budget Sunday night following the Assembly's approval on Saturday.

Could students lose the scholarship?

Some lawmakers had spoken out against this requirement, because it excludes students who enroll part time.

But there will be exceptions.

In order to stay on the scholarship, students have to maintain the GPA necessary to stay in school and finish on track to graduate on time.

How much will SUNY and CUNY cost students now? Republicans wanted to expand the state's existing Tuition Assistance Program, which would have allowed students to apply between $500 and $6,470 to private or public school tuition in the state, while still basing the final award on need. Those expenses can add up to $14,000 a year.

But students could see lower costs for text books next year.




Will tuition go up for those who don't get the scholarship?

.

His promise to make tuition free for everyone who attends state universities helped draw huge crowds of young people to his campaign rallies and forced nomination rival Hillary Clinton to endorse some of his progressive policies, including on university tuition.

What happens to other scholarships and financial aid?

"If Skoufis thinks 80% of all NY families is too few students, he should go back to school himself and take a remedial math course", Azzopardi said. However, they will be responsible for costs of room and board and other fees, if they choose to live on campus.

Those eligible will pay nothing for tuition.

It's estimated 80 percent of New York State's families with college-age kids could benefit from the program. The restrictions would also give the colleges some control.

What will be the impact on SUNY and CUNY?

The state congress is expected to approve the plan by Monday.

Another part of the program - students must stay in NY for the same amount of years they receive the scholarship. During the first phase, the scholarship will be available in the fall of 2017for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually.

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