New York has become the United States’ first state to offer free in-state college tuition for middle and lower class students at both two year and four-year public colleges. Students in New York now don’t have to worry about getting into student loans.

The Student Loan Math

The average college graduate owes anywhere from $35,000 to $37,000 in student loans and in some cases that average can rise up to more than $100,000. That’s freaking ridiculous considering most students don’t find the career they are looking for right after graduation.

“A student loan, at the end of the day, is just a screwed up way to rip off the students using the loans.”

But, starting the fall semester of 2017, New York has shown that free college tuition is possible. Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to CNN.com, introduced the tuition-free plan in January. Depending on the resident’s income, the student will be eligible for free tuition. Undergraduate students who attend a State University of New York or City University of New York school will be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship if their families earn no more than $100,000 a year and the income cap should increase by 25% by 2019.

Tuition usually costs around four to six thousand a year, but eligible student will owe $0. That’s an incredible breakthrough. Students whose families  were not able to afford college are now able to. That  brings hope for the student and their families. The student will still have to pay for any fees, books, and there rooms if they are staying on campus. But still, saving up to $6,000 a year sounds good to anybody’s ear.

To be eligible for free tuition you must be a New York resident, must sign up for full time college student, earn a specific income of no more than $100,000 a year, and maintain 30 credits a year. Sounds easy enough considering that most classes average 3 credits per course. That’s around ten classes a year depending on the classes. And if you don’t live in New york it’s ok, all you have to do is live in New York for a year and show proof.

Realistically no student would move to New York for a year to then start their college career. The cost of living in New York is too high. Unless the students have help with the finances and living expenses then it would be difficult. But I’m not here to tell you to move to New York for free college.

“What I’m trying to say is this is a start.”

New York is the first state and it is only a matter of time before other states follow in their footsteps. It is possible that every state, one after another, will have free tuition and students all over the United States will be able to experience college. Hopefully that will put an end to all the student loans out there. Only then will the country be closer to actually being the land of the free.