ALBANY, NY - We've been hearing about it for a months now, but today is the day middle class families can start to apply for the free SUNY and CUNY college tuition program known as the Excelsior Scholarship.

It's expected over 940,000 New York families making up to $125,000 a year will qualify.

"With the launch of the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship program, the dream of a college education and a better life is now within reach for all New Yorkers," said NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. "A college degree has become a necessity to succeed in the modern economy, and this program is the ticket to greater opportunity and will help build the stronger, smarter workforce New York needs to compete in the global economy."

To be eligible, students must be NY residents, plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY two or four year college, take 30 credits per year (including Summer and Winter sessions), and be on track to graduate on time with an Associate's Degree in two years or a Bachelor's Degree in four years. You must also plan to live in New York during that time.

To apply, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Air, the NYS Tuition Assistance Program application, if applicable, and the Excelsior Scholarship application at

Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 21st.