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Free College Tuition in New York
(But you must meet strict guidelines)
Gabrielle Pascal

Great news for New York teens! New York has now officially become a state where you can go to a four-year college for free, if you qualify.

In April, Governor Cuomo announced his Excelsior Scholarship which makes students in over 940,000 families potentially eligible for free tuition at the state’s public colleges. As of this fall, those students with families making a yearly combined income of less than $100,000 may be able to attend any SUNY or CUNY school for free.

By 2019, the scholarship will also be available to those students with families making under $125,000.

A tricky requirement is that unless you are disabled, students must be registered full-time at the school they choose to attend and maintain the necessary GPA to receive 30 credits and that allows for the successful completion of your degree in four years. Therefore, if you have to take either less than a full-time credit load or you need to take a break in your education, you will no longer be eligible.

Students must also meet these other requirements:
• New York residency for as long as you are getting funding.
• If you work, you must be employed in New York State.
• Be an undergraduate.
• Free of student loans.
• Undocumented students may not participate, so you must either be a citizen, refugee, or permanent resident.

To apply for the Excelsior Scholarship, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

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