New York has become the first state to make tuition free at public four-year colleges and universities.
Many other states are working to make community college free, or have already done so.
The Excelsior Scholarship will allow students from families earning less than $125,000 per year to attend all two- or four-year institutions in the City University of New York and State University of New York systems tuition-free. Students must attend college full time and maintain grades good enough to pass their courses.
One provision of the plan is coming in for sharp criticism, according to Inside Higher Ed. It requires students to live and work in New York state for as many years as they received free tuition. If they don’t, they’ll be required to pay off the tuition amount as if it were a loan.
A version of this article appeared in the April 19, 2017 edition of Education Week as N.Y. Becomes First State to Offer Free Tuition to Four-Year Colleges