New York has become the first state to offer free tuition for students from middle-class families earning $125k or less annually. This means that roughly around 940 000 families will be eligible for free tuition at public colleges and universities.

The plan was proposed by Dem. Governor Andrew Cuomo and was approved as part of the new state budget yesterday.

Estimated cost of the plan to the state is $163 million (even though that might increase, according to some officials), with also $19 million for tuition reward program at private colleges.

It will take time to set the plan in motion full swing, but the first set of students, students from families earning $100k annually or less, will be eligible for free tuition already this fall (2017), the threshold will rise in 2019 when students from families earning $125k annually will be eligible.

"Why do we have free public high school? Because we made the determination as society that you needed high school," said Gov. Cuomo, adding that "today, college is what high school was."

Currently the tuition at community colleges and universities in New York range from roughly $4500 to $6500.

Once the program has been fully implemented, roughly 200 000 students will be eligible.