The push to increase access to higher education opportunities is gaining steam as New York joins Tennessee and other states in offering free or discounted tuition to college. Announced last weekend, the deal will allow qualifying students—those from families with annual incomes $125,000 or less—to attend State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) systems at no cost.
The program also earmarks $8 million for the creation of open educational resources for CUNY and SUNY students, like free online education materials, in addition to offering a grant program for students who attend New York private colleges, providing a maximum of $3,000.
Though not without its fair share of detractors for its stipulation that students must live and work within New York for the same number of years that they take advantage of the benefits, the program is nevertheless an important step forward in helping more students receive access to an education that can prove vital in increasing opportunity, and in reaching personal and professional goals. New York’s program is also notable for being the first statewide initiative to offer tuition-free access to four-year colleges as well.
Read Inside Higher Ed’s full coverage of New York’s initiative here.