As a former New York State resident, I was initially excited to see the headlines of a free tuition program starting for the SUNY and CUNY schools. However, this New York Times article pointed out several aspects of the program that are important to note. While any reduction in the overall cost of college, public or private, is good, always read the fine print! I hope that New York will continue to look for ways to help its residents, and people moving into the state, to pursue an education in a way that does not burden them with debt. I’ve pulled quotes from the article below, but if you want to read the whole thing, click here.

“To qualify, students must attend school full time and be on track to graduate within two or four years, depending on the degree they are seeking.”

“Because Excelsior is what is known as a “last dollar” program that kicks in on top of other scholarships and grants, its benefit to the poorest students would be limited.”

“After graduation, scholarship recipients must live and work in New York for as many years as they received a tuition award. If they break that commitment, the tuition grant becomes a loan that must be repaid.”

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