I dunno if you've heard, but the state of New York became the first and only state (so far) to offer free 4 year college tuition to its public institutions for students from families making under $125k a year.
Big deal, right? I mean who doesn't like free tuition?
image via CNN Money
There are some pretty steep stipulations to go along with that free tuition money.
- The state only kicks in tuition money AFTER any grants or scholarships have been applies.
- Starting this fall, families who earn no more than $100,000 a year are eligible. The income cap will lift to $110,000 next year and will reach $125,000 in 2019. If you make even $1 over that, you don't qualify.
- After graduating, students MUST stay and work in the state of New York for the same number of years they received funding for, with waivers/deferments given for graduate school and cases of "extreme hardship". If students move out of state, the amount used converts into a loan.
- Free tuition money cannot be used towards housing costs
- There is no age limit
- You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or refugee to qualify. Those with undocumented status do not qualify.
- Students must be enrolled with full time hours and maintain a GPA consistent with staying in school and graduating on time to continue to qualify.
Free tuition to public colleges and universities has been a hotly debated topic for the past several years and throughout the 2016 presidential election cycle. With New York implementing this legislation, it will be interesting to see the impact on enrollment and graduation numbers, along with post-graduate employment rates and economic impact.
Will other states follow suit shortly? We'll find out.
I'm over here thinking about the last $700 in student loans I have left on the degree I earned 13 years ago, and how we just started paying off the loans from my husband's higher education. We'll be on the student loan re-payment train to nowhere for a long time to come.
You better BELIEVE I would have taken advantage of this if I could have.
If this were an option in your state, would your family benefit and would you or your children take advantage of free tuition at a state school?
I want to know!