The Excelsior Scholarship aims to make college more affordable for middle-class New Yorkers by lowering the cost and encouraging students to finish their degrees on time. "A college education is not a luxury -- it is an absolute necessity for any chance at economic mobility," Cuomo said when the plan was announced. But "tuition-free" isn't the same as free. Though Cuomo's plan would lower a student's total bill by up to about $6,000 a year, it could still cost them $14,000 for fees and room and board. At the State University of New York (SUNY), tuition costs $6,470 for the current school year, while the City University system (CUNY), costs $6,330.