Free College Tuition Program for Middle Class New Yorkers Is Finally Here!

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Get ready New Yorkers!  We are finally going to see big changes taking place in our education system.  The change will align us with the rest of world in hopes in bringing our children the education they need to become the next generation of front-runners, leading this great country.

A public announcement made by Gov. Cuomo, on January 17, 2017, which unveiled a new program that will assist many young middle class New Yorkers and their families in getting some assistance with their college tuition.  New York’s tuition-free degree program, the Excelsior Scholarship, is said to be the first of its kind in the nation and every New Yorker now has hopes of making a future for themselves as well as their families without the burden of having to pay off an expensive school loan.

“A college education is not a luxury – it is an absolute necessity for any chance at economic mobility, and with these first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarships, we’re providing the opportunity for New Yorkers to succeed, no matter what zip code they come from and without the anchor of student debt weighing them down,” Governor Cuomo said.

According to they provided the following information by stating “Under this groundbreaking proposal, more than 940,000 middle-class families and individuals making up to $125,000 per year would qualify to attend college tuition-free at all public universities in New York State.” With their Regional Breakdown chart showing that over 75% of those will qualify for the free tuition program. That is incredible news for so many middle class families residing in New York that will now be able to attend college, avoiding a burden for them as well as their families. Qualification will apply in order to receive the loan, so be sure to read the fine print.

The program will be released over the next three years, with the first phase beginning Fall 2017 for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually, increasing to $110,000 in 2018, and reaching $125,000 in 2019. This applies to all SUNY and CUNY Two and Four Year Colleges.

Many questions arise from this new information proposed by Gov. Cuomo.  For example, who will be responsible to pay for this annual cost of free education and what will it cost? We found some information regarding the cost of the Excelsior Scholarship program.  The projected cost of this program, once it is phased in, is anticipated to cost approximately $163 million per year. This is based on enrollment projections and how many students they are estimating will apply for college even when the tuition is free.

The free-tuition program even if paid for by the tax payers, will eliminate $1.2 trillion nationwide student loan debt which will allow the students to put their money elsewhere like purchasing a new home, a new car and contributing to turning our economy around.

As most of us know, college tuition is expensive, in New York and around the country.  Many will never get the education they want simply because they can’t afford one.  This is all going to change effective Fall 2017. Families will no longer need to put their kids’ education on hold merely because they can’t afford to pay for one.  This change in our education system will eventually eliminate the number of college students from dropping out before completing their degree and increasing overall graduation rates that will continue to rise as this plan is fine-tuned over the next few years.

A great way to get the younger generation involved, motivating them to advance their education so they can succeed in the future.  According to projections by the New York State Department of Labor, statistics show that approximately 3.5 million jobs statewide will require an associate’s degree or higher by 2024.

This change has finally overturned what many families have been anticipating for years, to offer and provide a free education to those families in need of financial assistance so their children and the rest of our city can evolve with the rest of the country and the rest of the world.

This is history in the making. Children today will never understand the importance of how crucial this program is to this city and this country. This program will bring extraordinary changes to not only families today, but will motivate many others for years to come.  A feeling of living debt free, most importantly, after receiving the most significant document of your life, your college diploma.

What about those students already in debt from previously attending college that are currently in debt, what will happen to their loans? Will there be any form of assistance for them?  How will this affect the salaries of the professors in those colleges? This is the information we will provide as we receive more details over the next few months.

Overall, this is a step in the right direction. This will bring this state and eventually the rest of our country to where we need to be and that is providing a future for our children to grow and blossom into the types of people we want to see leading our great nation.  This new plan is a collaboration of two states working together side by side to ensure this happens.  We wish them luck and hope to see others to follow behind them.

By: Ida L


How to Secure Your Child’s Financial Future



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