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Photo courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo's office
Photo courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo's office
Legislation for the Excelsior Scholarship was signed at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.

Queens students who are looking for a free ride to New York’s state colleges can now apply for the Excelsior Scholarship that Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature established earlier this year.

New York became the first state in the country to provide tuition-free education at two- and four-year public colleges on April 11 after Cuomo, who was joined by Hillary Clinton, signed legislation at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.

Starting this fall, students of families who earn $100,000 or less will be eligible. That number will increase to $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 in 2019. There is no age restriction on the scholarship, and Cuomo said more than 940,000 middle-class families are expected to benefit. Students must enroll in school full time to be eligible.

SUNY estimates that about 80,000 students in its system could benefit from the program and about 3,000 to 5,000 students attending CUNY could benefit. The program is expected to cost $87 million the first year and $163 million during its third year.

To apply, students must provide copies of 2015 New York State income tax returns filed by them and their parents, a current unofficial college transcript and a Student Aid Report, which students received after filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Applications can be found on the state’s website.

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