New York State Is Trying to Provide Free College for Families Making Less Than $125K

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is moving forward with a plan to create free tuition for low and middle-income students at state colleges and universities, bringing to life one of the most exciting ideas talked about during the presidential campaign.

Any New Yorker whose family earns less than $125,000 a year will be eligible for the plan, The Washington Post reports. The plan will be fully implemented by 2019.

“College is a mandatory step if you really want to be a success,” Cuomo said at LaGuardia Community College in New York. “And the way this society said we’re going to pay for high school because you need high school, this society should say we’re going to pay for college because you need college to be successful. And New York state is going to do something about it.”

The plan needs to be approved by the state legislature first, but if it’s passed, New York will become the first state to offer tuition-free public higher education to its residents, Forbes reported.

Debt-free college has been a huge point of contention this year, especially when Democratic nominees Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton raised the issue during their campaigns for presidency. According to the Post, other states have also taken up plans for debt-free or free tuition colleges. This includes Tennessee, Oregon and Minnesota, which all have their own free community college programs.

With the rising costs of colleges creating a greater strain on students and their families, it is good that some states and politicians are taking the initiative to create plans to help eliminate or decrease the burden these costs have on students and families.