NY free college tuition program open to student applications

New York state has begun accepting applications for its new tuition-free college program.

More than 3,000 people signed up for the Excelsior scholarship Wednesday, the first day the applications were available. They'll be accepted through July 21. Applicants should know within a week whether they're eligible to receive funding.

The tuition initiative was proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and approved by the Legislature. After other student aid has been applied, it covers the balance of state college or university tuition for full-time, in-state students from families earning $100,000 or less. The income threshold will rise to $125,000 over three years.

After graduation, students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit. If not, they'll have to repay the money as a loan.