New York state students can officially apply for free college tuition

A college degree isn't what it used to be anymore — It's no longer a novelty or an advantage, but rather a most basic requirement when it comes to applying for many corporate jobs.

For lower-income families, this can be extremely disheartening with the cost of universities on the rise seemingly annually.

But for many New York residents, the once impossible dream of free tuition just became a reality.

On Wednesday, June 7, the Excelsior Scholarship officially opened in New York.

SEE ALSO: Valedictorians rarely become rich — and the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9

The program was approved last month by the Board of Trustees for the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.

Recipients of the scholarship will have their tuition paid in full.

Yes, you read that correctly — free tuition.

The New York State's website breaks it down:

"Under this groundbreaking program, more than 940,000 middle-class families and individuals making up to $125,000 per year will qualify to attend college tuition-free at all CUNY and SUNY two- and four-year colleges in New York State."

So, in order to be eligible, students must be full-time, living in New York and attending college in-state and their families must have an annual income of $125,000 or lower.

One catch — recipients are required to stay working in New York for as many years as they received tuition for or must repay the money if they move earlier.

But hey, if your state is letting you attend college for free, you'd probably love it enough that you'd want to stay for quite a while.

RELATED: Colleges that produce the most millionaires and billionaires

Colleges that produce the most millionaires and billionaires
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Colleges that produce the most millionaires and billionaires

20. University of California, Los Angeles

Larry Fink, cofounder, chairman, and CEO of BlackRock, class of 1974 and 1976.

Known UHNW alumni: 235

Combined wealth: $63 billion

 (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for New York Times)

19. Boston University

Radio host Howard Stern, class of 1976.

Known UHNW alumni: 241

Combined wealth: $62 billion

 (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

18. University of Cambridge

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Thrive Global, class of 1972.

Known UHNW alumni: 271

Combined wealth: $69 billion

 REUTERS/Lucas Jackson 

17. University of Michigan

Larry Page, founder and CEO of Alphabet, class of 1995.

Known UHNW alumni: 272

Combined wealth: $141 billion

 Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

16. University of Notre Dame

NFL hall of famer Joe Montana, class of 1979.Business Insider

Known UHNW alumni: 277

Combined wealth: $44 billion

 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

15. University of California, Berkeley

Cofounder and chairman emeritus of Intel Gordon Moore, class of 1950.

Known UHNW alumni: 290

Combined wealth: $125 billion

 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

14. The University of Texas at Austin

Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State and former chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, class of 1975.

Known UHNW alumni: 293

Combined wealth: $71 billion

 REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

13. University of Southern California

Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce, class of 1986.

Known UHNW alumni: 294

Combined wealth: $98 billion

REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian 

12. University of Virginia

Paul Tudor Jones, founder and CIO of Tudor Investment Corporation, class of 1976.

Known UHNW alumni: 300

Combined wealth: $64 billion

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

11. Cornell University

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, class of 1991.

Known UHNW alumni: 319

Combined wealth: $101 billion

 Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

10. Princeton University

 Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, class of 1986.Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Known UHNW alumni: 330

Combined wealth: $188 billion

 REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

9. Yale University

Former US Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton and her husband Former US President Bill Clinton, both class of 1973.REUTERS/Jim Young

Known UHNW alumni: 360

Combined wealth: $156 billion

(Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

8. Northwestern University

Ginni Rometty, chairman, president, and CEO of IBM, class of 1979.

Known UHNW alumni: 365

Combined wealth: $80 billion

 REUTERS/Mike Blake

7. University of Chicago

Evan Sharp, cofounder and chief creative officer of Pinterest, class of 2005.

Known UHNW alumni: 371

Combined wealth: $93 billion

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Drew Houston, founder and CEO of Dropbox, class of 2005.Steve Jennings / Getty Images

Known UHNW alumni: 375

Combined wealth: $215 billion

 REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

5. Stanford University

Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Founders Fund partner, class of 1989 and 1992.

Known UHNW alumni: 466

Combined wealth: $404 billion

 (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

4. New York University

Actress and philanthropist Angelina Jolie, class of 1993.Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Known UHNW alumni: 488

Combined wealth: $155 billion

 (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

3. Columbia University

Warren Buffett, investor, philanthropist, and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, class of 1951.

Known UHNW alumni: 578

Combined wealth: $307 billion

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

2. University of Pennsylvania

Elon Musk, cofounder of PayPal and founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, class of 1997.Getty/Kevork Djansezian

Known UHNW alumni: 832

Combined wealth: $369 billion

 REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

1. Harvard University

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO, class of 1975.

Known UHNW alumni: 1,906

Combined wealth: $811 billion

 Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images


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