New York To Offer Free College Plan To Low-Income StudentsBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that students from low-income families will be qualified for his free college plan. Senator Bernie Sanders, a vocal supporter of free tuition, was there for the announcement.
TIME reported that students from families earning $125,000 or less per year will be eligible for the proposal. They may be able to go to state, city and even community colleges for free.
It was noted that New York is already spending $1 billion every year on a tuition assistance program. Its awards cap is at $5,165.
About one million families with college students will be able to qualify. The plan is said to cost $163 million.
According to New York Daily News, the program, which still needs the approval of Legislature, is named The Excelsior Scholarship. It is expected to help low-income students fight the rising costs of college as well as the debt loads that come with it.
Officials believe that the program would affect over 940,000 homes. It will be offered for several colleges but will not include room and board.
Senator Sanders praised Cuomo for the proposal, describing it as "a revolutionary idea for higher education." Hillary Clinton also expressed her delight over the announcement on Twitter.
Legislators, on the other hand, were cautious. The program may be included in the upcoming negotiations for the state's 2017-2018 budget.
Hillary Clinton has always been vocal about her stand on free tuition at in-state public colleges and universities for working families that earn up to $125,000. During her campaign, she also revealed her plans to implement a three-month moratorium on loan payments for all federal borrowers. With that, students would be able to consolidate their loans or enroll in other plans that can help cut costs.
The Washington Post noted that Trump's election seemed to have made the prospect of free college fade. However, Cuomo's proposal, along with other proponents, is proof that the fight still continues.