Cuomo says 22K students got ‘free’ tuition through Excelsior Scholarship

John Taylor was miffed when his daughter Alyssa signed up for New York’s free college tuition program, but found out she was ineligible.

School counselors encouraged the 22-year-old student to take fewer credits this fall as she eased into her first semester. But without a full course load, she was not allowed to participate in the Excelsior Scholarship program.

“It’s totally absurd. Here’s someone who is trying to strive to do better,” Taylor, of Pleasant Valley, Dutchess County, said.

With great fanfare, New York this fall started the Excelsior program to provide free SUNY tuition to income-eligible students.

The state revealed Sunday afternoon how many students were admitted to the program. The USA Today Network’s Albany Bureau reported Friday the figures had not been released.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday about 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students would have free tuition this year through various programs.

About 22,000 students will have their tuition costs covered by the new Excelsior scholarships.

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