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Brittany ComakJun 7, 2017, 7:58 amJun 7, 2017, 1:44 pm

Today: Students attending public universities in New York can apply for free college tuition

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces Excelsior Program as part of the state budget for 2018

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The Excelsior Program officially opens up to applicants Wednesday with the possibility of free college for some New York State students.

The Excelsior Program will become the first program of its kind in America, by offering free tuition to public colleges to families that make $125,000 or less.

According to the state, there are almost 1 million families, or 80 percent of the families in New York State, that would qualify. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the program as part of the state budget for 2018 back in April.

The scholarship will be phased in over three years, starting with those making up to $100,000 this fall, up to $110,000 next year and then $125,000 in 2019.

There are requirements students must adhere to. Students must live and work in New York after graduation for the same number of years they received the scholarship, otherwise they must repay their tuition to the state.

Students must also keep their grades up and pace themselves for an associate degree in two years or a bachelor's degree in four years.

The state says that students can get the award as early as this fall.

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