Could New York's free college tuition plan spread across the U.S.?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, is joined by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, center, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York William C. Thompson, as he speaks during an event at LaGuardia Community College, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, in New York. NEW YORK -- Hundreds of thousands of New York students would be able to attend college for free under a proposal announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make state universities tuition-free for residents earning $125,000 or less. The Democrat unveiled his plan Tuesday at LaGuardia Community College in Queens alongside U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sanders, who pushed for free tuition at all U.S. public colleges during his Democratic presidential campaign, called Cuomo’s proposal “revolutionary.” Comparing student loan debt to “starting a race with an anchor tied to your leg,” Cuomo said his Excelsior Scholarship program, if approved by lawmakers, would apply to full-time students who attend State University of New York or City University of New York colleges, including two-year community colleges. “It should be a wake-up call to this nation,” Cuomo said, “to say if you really want to be competitive globally, we have to have the best educated workforce, and that means we have to have college for every child, man or woman who wants to attend.” But many questions remain about how much it will cost, how it will affect one of the country’s largest public college systems and whether other states will follow suit. The following Q&A answers some of the questions many have about the proposed program. ___ Q: What’s the plan? A: Full-time New York students whose families earn less than $125,000 a year would pay no tuition to attend two- or four-year colleges in the State University of New York or City University of New York systems. The plan, if approved by state lawmakers, would be phased in over three years, beginning this fall for residents making up to $100,000 a year. The income threshold would increase to $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019. ___ Q: So college would...

Read the full article here