FREDONIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — As of this fall full-time students from households making up to $100,000 annually will be eligible for free tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools.
“I have friends who were not able to pay for the tuition and now they’re actually going to be coming back to Fredonia,” said Lauren Teeling, SUNY Fredonia student.
“I know my sister is coming next year so it will be a good opportunity for my family,” said Tom Wilson, SUNY Fredonia student.
The Excelsior scholarship is being phased in over 3 years, increasing to students of families making up to $110,000 in 2018 and then $125,000 in 2019.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity for people that never would have had the opportunity to go to college but I also think it’s a little unfair for people that still have to take out loans that wouldn’t be able to,” said Jenna Watson, SUNY Fredonia student.
To be eligible students need to be residents, or have lived in the state for at least one year.
Today Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul stopped by SUNY Fredonia to highlight requirements, including staying in New York state after graduation for the same number of years the scholarship was received.
“It’s a smart compromise because we’re investing $163 million out of a $152 billion budget so we can afford this but we also think it’s fair,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
Hochul says if students want to pursue graduate school out of state, they can still benefit from Excelsior as long as they move back to New York state after.
“You come back and stay here and if you don’t want to you simply have it become a loan which you probably would’ve had to take out anyhow so you’re no worse off,” said Hochul.
Hochul says applications for the Excelsior scholarship will be available on the state’s website by the end of the month.
Hochul also hosted another information at Buffalo State at 5 pm.
For more information about Excelsior, go to the following link: https://www.ny.gov/programs/tuition-free-degree-program-excelsior-scholarship