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Free tuition will be provided to the residents of San Francisco, announced the city’s Mayor. This would be done in partnership with a Community College which will make it the first city in the country to offer free tuition to its residents.

San Francisco Free Tuition

Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco announced that “The government will set aside $5.4 million per year for enrolment fees and other expenses for the City College of San Francisco students.”

However, $2.1 million of the total amount will be used to cover the cost of credit classes for California residents who have lived in San Francisco for a year.

The remaining $3.3 million in funding will go towards covering books, transportation, supplies and health fees for low-income students who have applied for Board of Governors (BOG) tuition waivers. Submit your details through this Federal Student Aid page to be a part of this initiative.

“The funding will cover 45,000 credits, wherein $46 credit will be allocated per student”, said the City College spokesperson, Jeffrey Hamilton. This is because course loads will vary and it is unpredictable as to how many students will come forth to receive free tuition until registration closes in fall,” he added.

This program was initiated to provide educational assistance to 28,000 to 30,000 students. This is bound to help the less fortunate students to have a level footing with students that study in City Colleges across San Francisco. However, there is no clear estimate as to how many students will enroll in this program.

Talking about progressive free education, Lee stated that, “This commitment will provide our residents the opportunity to attend college.

It will help them continue to learn and create better lives for themselves. This is an investment in our youth, in our city and in our future.”

Free College- A Way Forward

Influenced by Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign for president, Mayor Lee’s vision of a free college program has gained popularity in the state of San Francisco.

However, there are several other states that provide free tuition programs, that came into effect post Former President, Barack Obama’s initiative of a free community college in 2015.

Other states like Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee, and Minnesota have last-dollar scholarship programs that cover any remaining tuition fees with varying eligibility requirements.

Mr. Lee’s plan of a free college is different from all other existing programs in the country. It allows all residents to enroll in the program, regardless of age with no varying eligibility requirements.

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo’s proposal of tuition-free community colleges and Gina Raimondo proposal of two years of free tuition at state colleges and two years of benefits for community college students were pillars of making Lee envision an initiative that can benefit the poor. Bernie Sanders’ hailed the New York Plan and mentioned that it was a model for the nation.

Determining Your Unemployment Claim

If you are temporarily unemployed and need to apply for unemployment benefits then you should make use of all the resources on FileUnemployment.org. There are several articles that can keep you up to date with the job market and you can also review the benefits by state.

While you’re at it, you can make use of the Benefits Calculator, Base Period Calculator and understand your eligibility with the Eligibility Calculator.

Take a look at this comprehensive list of the benefits comparison by state and you can get a fair idea of the unemployment rate and the benefits provided.

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New York Governor revealed in his FY 2019 budget proposal that the state’s free tuition program would be extended to illegal immigrant students. According to a briefing book, Cuomo’s plan “includes legislation to implement the DREAM Act, opening the door of higher education to thousands of New Yorkers.”

new york free tuition to illegal immigrants

The briefing states that illegal immigrants have been accepted for in-state tuition at the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) since 2002, however, but explains that each year, “many talented students who graduate from New York high schools remain unable to fulfill their potential simply because they cannot afford the tuition and lack of access to tuition assistance to help pay for school.”

In 2017, Governor Cuomo launched a program to make tuition free-of-charge at SUNY and CUNY. The option is available during the 2018-2019 school year to resident students whose family income is not above $110,000. This year, according to his FY ‘19 budget briefing, he’s taking it a stride forward by extending free education under his “Excelsior Scholarship Program” to students who illegally reside in the country.

The DREAM Act declares that an investment in young immigrants’ futures is an investment in New York’s future. It further states that the act will give undocumented students access to the new Excelsior Scholarship, the Tuition Assistance Program as well as other state-administered scholarship. It was during the Executive Budget Address, where Cuomo announced his record of restoring fiscal discipline while simultaneously achieving historic progressive accomplishments and strengthening middle-class New Yorkers.

A Summary of the Legislation in FY ‘18

On April 12, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had signed a bill into law on providing free tuition to students who attend the state’s public colleges and universities. New York became the first state to offer free four-year college to students. The funds for the program would be exclusively for tuition purpose, and students would still need to acquire other resources to pay for room, board, and other indirect fees. The program only covers tuition fees which are not covered by other grants. Students whose family income limit is less than $100,000 per year would be eligible for the grant if they enroll full-time at any community college or public university within the state.  

Republicans in the New York Senate successfully lobbied to force students to live an work in the state for as many years as they received aid. On failing to do so, the grant would be turned into a loan. Moreover, one-third of students in New York public universities enroll part-time whereas only students who enroll full-time are eligible for the grant.

The program’s 30-credit requirement which was criticized by some was said to be a research-proven strategy to raise GPAs, improve retention rates and ultimately boost the college completion in the state.

Other States That Offer Free Tuition

Since 2015, states like Oregon, Rhode Island, Montana, Minnesota, Kentucky, Arkansas, Nevada and West Virginia have enacted legislation for a promise program. However, New York with its Excelsior Scholarship Program still remains the only state to offer last-dollar assistance to students at the four-year level.

To qualify for tuition-free programs, in-state students may apply to the state’s tuition-free scholarship program and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Here is a list of colleges that offer tuition-free programs in the country.

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