N.Y. Republicans Counter Free Public College Plan

February 27, 2017

New York Republicans have a counterproposal to Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s controversial plan to provide tuition-free public college to students whose families earn $125,000 or less -- increase an existing grant for students attending either public or private institutions.

A group of Republicans in the New York State Assembly want to expand New York’s Tuition Assistance Program’s award sizes and make it available to wealthier families. The program currently makes need-based awards of between $500 and $5,165 to families earning $80,000 a year or less. The Republicans want to raise the income limit to $125,000 -- the same as Cuomo’s free college proposal -- and increase the maximum award to $6,470.

Republicans estimate the plan would cut college costs for 336,000 students, according to CNN Money. Cuomo’s office has estimated his plan would cover 200,000 students. Republicans would also make other changes, making graduate students eligible for Tuition Assistance Program awards and creating tax credits for New Yorkers paying off their student loans.

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