New York will be the first state in the U.S. to provide free tuition to students attending public colleges and universities.
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed the program into law April 13.
There is a catch. Only families that earn an annual income of $100,000 or less during their first year of participation can apply. The income limit will be raised to $125,000 in two years. Students don’t have to be native New York residents to obtain the free tuition. Students, both new and existing, can apply.
Students that do qualify for the free tuition will have to live and work in New York after they graduate from New York, however it hasn’t been stated for how long students have to live in New York. Students also have to be enrolled full time. If the student decides to move to a different state, they would have to repay the whole amount.
Right now, San Francisco offers free community college tuition to its residents.
According to PBS, Rhode Island may also follow suit and would make two years of college free for resident students. The difference would be that it would cover students’ tuition regardless of income.
Other states such as Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee and Minnesota offer tuition subsidies that would cover tuition fees after state and federal grant aid are added in.
Florida has no plans to change their tuition coverage. However, Florida is one of the few states that has merit scholarship programs like Bright Futures that can cover a sizable percent of tuition costs for residential students.
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