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Education

New York Passes Plan For Free Public College

A woman walks along 68th Street on the campus of Hunter College of The City University of New York, April 10, 2017 in New York City. Following a state budget approval on Sunday, New York will be the first state to make public colleges and universities free for qualified middle-class students with a family income under $125,000. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A woman walks along 68th Street on the campus of Hunter College of The City University of New York, April 10, 2017 in New York City. Following a state budget approval on Sunday, New York will be the first state to make public colleges and universities free for qualified middle-class students with a family income under $125,000. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York has become the first state to offer four years of free college to students whose families make $100,000 or less each year. To receive the so-called Excelsior Scholarship, students have to attend school full time, maintain a minimum grade point average depending on their program and finish their degree on time. They also have to stay in the state after they graduate, for at least two years after receiving an associate’s degree or four years if they get a bachelor’s degree. The income cap for the scholarship program will go up to $125,000 in 2019 and will cost the state an estimated $163 million per year. Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks to Jim Malatras (@jimmalatras), one of the architects of that plan. Until recently Malatras was Director of State Operations for New York’s governor (@NYgovCuomo). He’s now president of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany.

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