State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon appeared in Cayuga County Thursday to highlight the 2017-18 budget and how it benefits central New York.
One of the main initiatives in the budget touted by Reardon is the Excelsior Scholarship, which provides students whose families earn no more than $125,000 annually with free tuition to New York’s public colleges and universities.
The scholarship was first proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January. There were some provisions added to the final version of the tuition-free benefit, including a requirement that students who receive the scholarship must remain in New York after graduation or the aid will become a student loan they must pay back.
Critics have questioned everything from the residency requirement to whether the tuition-free college program will be an effective method for addressing college affordability.