NYC Studies Cost of Free CUNY Community Colleges

January 15, 2016

The New York City Independent Budget Office released a report this week detailing how much the city could spend on offering free tuition at its seven City University of New York community colleges.

The report details that the city could spend as little as $138 million, limiting to three years the tuition assistance for full-time students, or a high of $232 million for an unlimited number of years for all full- and part-time students. The report estimates that providing free tuition to all students would cost $3,456 per student. That figure takes into account the shares of students who do and do not receive state or federal financial aid.

Over all the CUNY system enrolled 58,000 full-time and 40,000 part-time students in 2013. The annual tuition rate is $4,800, but the report details the total cost of attendance, including books, supplies, travel and living expenses, which is $12,000 for students living at home and $24,800 for independent students.

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