College is about to become a lot cheaper for some students attending public universities in New York.
Lawmakers just approved a state budget that includes a tuition-free college plan called the Excelsior Scholarship.
Starting this fall, the scholarship will be available for New Yorkers attending a State University of New York or City University of New York school full time. Their families must earn no more than $100,000. By 2019, that income cap will be $125,000.
"This economy, you need a college education if you're going to compete," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The scholarship, which was introduced by Gov. Cuomo in January, will cover tuition that isn't supplemented by grants or loans from the federal government or the state.
Students will still need to pay their own room and board costs. And after graduation, they're required to work in New York for a set number of years, based on how many years they received free tuition.
Roughly 940,000 families would be eligible for the scholarship once it's fully implemented in 2019. And it'll cost the state about $163 million a year.
New York is the first state to implement a tuition-free program for four-year public colleges. Oregon, Tennessee and the city of San Francisco already made community college tuition-free for residents.
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