New York Gov. Cuomo Promotes Tuition-free College Plan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking his idea to make college tuition-free on New York's public campuses directly to the students.

The Democrat on Tuesday launched a campaign to build support for the Excelsior Scholarship proposal, telling students at Buffalo State College that about 80 percent of families would qualify.

The estimated $163 million plan would pay the difference between financial aid and tuition for up to four years of college for students earning $125,000 or less.

Cuomo called on the Legislature to pass it, despite criticism that it leaves out private college students and is too costly.

A new contest is also part of the support campaign. It invites students to develop apps or websites to spread information about the program, with the winner to be chosen this spring.