The NY State Excelsior Scholarship, the first state scholarship in the country to make college free for middle-class families, is now accepting applications.

Students from families that make up to $100,000 annually and who are enrolled full-time at CUNY or SUNY colleges are encouraged to apply this year. Eventually, the program will cover families that make up to $125,000 annually.

Governor Cuomo’s landmark Excelsior Scholarship Program is a bold initiative that will advance both individual opportunity and the state’s economic competiveness,” said CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken. “The expanded access that the Excelsior program provides for lower income and middle class students positions New York as a national leader.”

In New York City, there are nearly half a million families with college-age children and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office predicts that 84 percent of those families would be eligible for the scholarship.

Students must pledge to reside in New York State after graduation for as many years as they receive the scholarship.

This year’s application deadline is July 21. Click here for more details about the Excelsior Scholarship.