Governor touts free public college tuition plan

Apr 9, 2017

New York will be the first state in the nation to offer free college tuition to middle-class students under the new state budget deal worked out by Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers.

Governor Cuomo announced Excelsior Scholarship earlier this year.

The free tuition will be available for students attending SUNY and CUNY schools. Cuomo said college today is what high school used to be. He said college should be an option for all.

"This will make college accessible, tuition free, for families making up to $125,000," Cuomo said. "That's 80 percent of the families in this state."

Here in Western New York, nearly 69,000 families are eligible.

Students receiving the free tuition will be required to live and work in New York after graduation for the same number of years that they benefited from the tuition grants.

The new state budget also increases tuition aid for private college students.