New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state’s first-in-the-nation tuition-free college program will pay the bill for about 22,000 students this year.
The governor’s office says an additional 23,000 students who applied also qualified to have their tuition covered, but by existing state and federal financial aid.
About 75,000 people applied for the new Excelsior Scholarship, which pays the balance of tuition for New York residents from families earning $100,000 or less who attend a State University of New York or City University of New York school full-time.
Cuomo says thanks to the new program 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students now go to school tuition-free.
Excelsior Scholarship recipients must live and work in New York for as many years as they receive the benefit.