Wednesday, June 19, 2019 | Updated at 4:39 PM ET


7 Things to Know Before Applying to New York State College Free Tuition

First Posted: Jun 09, 2017 01:28 AM EDT

Before anyone gets excited over New York State being the first in the nation to offer tuition-less college, there are seven things to know before applying to the Excelsior Scholarship.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's scholarship program that offers free tuition to City University of New York and State University of New York students, is now accepting applications until the deadline, July 21.

On Wednesday, June 7, the Excelsior Scholarship program officially opened in New York, and about 3,000 students signed up.

According to the governor's office, about 85 percent of the more than 460,000 college-ready families would be eligible for the plan and 940,000 residents around the state would qualify once the program is fully phased in.

But to be eligible, you need to know a few things about the program that was signed into law by Cuomo along with Hillary Clinton in April.

To be eligible:

  • Must attend a two-year or four-year CUNY or SUNY college
  • Students must be New York State residents for 12 continuous months
  • Only students whose family earn less than $100,000 a year, which will increase to families earning less than $125,000 when the program is fully phased in
  • Must enroll as a fulltime student, which is at least 30 credits per year
  • The program is not offered to undocumented students
  • Excelsior recipients must agree to continue living in New York State after they graduate for the same length of time the award was received
  • Private university students in New York State can apply for the $6,000 tuition assistance called the Enhanced Tuition Award

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