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New York Governor Announces Free-College Plan

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York plans to offer free tuition to state residents whose families earn less than $125,000 a year to attend New York’s public colleges.

In a speech on Tuesday at LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York alongside U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mr. Cuomo described a need to make attending college more attainable and to set a standard for the rest of the country.

Free college was part of Mr. Sanders’s platform during his run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and Hillary Clinton adopted a version of the idea in her own campaign.

Mr. Cuomo said he wanted the plan, called the Excelsior Scholarship, to begin in the fall of 2017, but the proposal needs to be approved by the state’s Legislature to go into effect. The plan would offer free tuition to eligible students at campuses of the State University of New York or the City University of New York, or other public two-year and four-year colleges.

“New York is making a major investment in our greatest asset — our people — and supporting the dreams and ambitions of those who want a better life and are willing to work hard for it,” said Mr. Cuomo in a written news release.

The plan would be rolled out over three years, according to the release. In the fall of 2017, the scholarship would be available to New Yorkers whose families make up to $100,000 annually; in 2018 the threshold would rise to $110,000; and in 2019 the scholarship would be available to families making up to $125,000.

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