I wouldn’t know because I don’t live in New York. If you’ve somehow not heard already, New York is officially the first city in the U.S. to offer tuition free college to students. But before you start packing your bags, be aware that there’s a catch (because there’s always a catch).
First, it’s important to know that the free tuition is more scholarship based. According to CNN Money, there is an income cap for those eligible of $100,000 and the scholarship only applies to SUNY (State University of New York) and CUNY (City University of New York) school systems.
The Excelsior Scholarship, the actual name of this amazing free-tuition opportunity, only applies to students studying full-time and on track to graduate in either two or four years depending on their program. Unfortunately, the scholarship would only cover a student’s tuition and not textbook fees, room and board, or the many other costs of going to college, so if you love seeing your refund check each year, this won’t aid you there. This doesn’t come close to the biggest catch of all.
The New York Times says that students who receive this scholarship MUST stay and work in New York for the same amount of time that they received the scholarship, i.e. if you used the scholarship all four years of college then you’re stuck in New York for another four. Otherwise, if you decide to leave for other potential opportunities, the scholarship you received turns into a federal loan you have to pay back.
Very catchy, right? It’s like Cinderella’s carriage turning into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight because she didn’t want to go back to her step-mother.
Although we all don’t qualify for this amazing scholarship, there are still ways to maintain your college budget. If you haven’t yet, read our posts What You Need to Know About Borrowing for College and The Truth About Student Loans and Debt for need-to-knows on paying for college.
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