N.Y.'s Tuition-Free Dream Meets Details

Details of New York’s free public college tuition program stoked a stream of strong reactions in the days since Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers reached a deal that will have it starting this fall.

Perhaps the most controversial element of the program, which is called the Excelsior Scholarship, is a work and residency obligation that kicks in after students graduate. Scholarship recipients will have to live and work in New York State after graduation for the same number of years they received Excelsior Scholarships, or their grants will turn into loans.

The program has also generated discussion around a requirement that students complete 30 credits per year to remain eligible. And the 30-credit requirement comes with another caveat that has been previously overlooked: students who don’t complete 30 credits in a year could have some of their Excelsior Scholarship clawed back. They’ll still be eligible for the first semester of free tuition in the year in which they failed to complete 30 credits. But after that year is over, they could receive a bill from their college or university asking them to pay for their second semester, unless a hardship is declared.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/04/17/new-yorks-tuition-free-college-program-sparks-debates-and-defenses