New York Today: Free College, but With Caveats

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How free is free?

Good morning on this grade-A Thursday. With Hillary Clinton standing by his side yesterday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a first-of-its-kind program providing free tuition to students at public colleges and universities in New York State. But it’s more complicated than it sounds, and it comes with caveats. We checked in with David W. Chen, a New York Times investigative reporter who has been covering the free-tuition plan, called the Excelsior Scholarship, to understand how it will work. How free is free tuition? It’s actually not. Excelsior would fill in the gaps of costs not covered by financial aid, Mr. Chen said. It would need to be added on top of other scholarships and grants to make college free. For students who are not receiving any other financial aid — those who are making too much money to qualify for need-based support — Excelsior would help even more. Read More, and See Today’s Weather and Commute »

Hillary Clinton praised Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's tuition initiative on Wednesday during an event at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

Sam Hodgson for The New York Times
Cuomo Adopts a Middle-Class Mantra
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has been supplementing his liberal political portfolio with ideas that have broader appeal such as his so-called free-tuition plan.
Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam at the Court of Appeals in Albany last year.

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Judge on New York’s Top Court, Is Found Dead in Hudson River

Judge Abdus-Salaam, who joined the State Court of Appeals in 2013, was pulled from the river by the police on Wednesday afternoon.

Kevin Rodriguez and his family used a storage unit at Treasure Island when they were between apartments.

Self-Storage Offers Space for Stuff. But It Gobbles Up Space.

New York and other cities move to curb the spread of self-storage buildings, arguing the space could be used to increase jobs, housing and commerce.

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York in front of a painting of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull at City Hall. A scholar says that City Hall lost another Hamilton portrait, by John Weimar, a forgotten artist from the mid-19th century.

Hamilton Art Mystery at City Hall: Lost, Stolen or Never There?

A British scholar insists New York City Hall somehow managed to lose the 19th-century painting on which an Alexander Hamilton stamp was based. How and when the painting was lost – if it ever was – is unclear.

Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor who created

Wounded by ‘Fearless Girl,’ Creator of ‘Charging Bull’ Wants Her to Move

The sculptor Arturo Di Modica said Wall Street’s bronze girl, meant to symbolize female empowerment, distorts the meaning of his work.

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New York Living
On the Runway

Missing Hood by Air

Designs for plus-size women from Plenty by Tracy Reese, left, and the Teresa For Eloquii capsule collection.
Scouting Report

A Plus-Size Pop-Up on Fifth Avenue and Other Shopping Events

Arts
James Baldwin in 1964, attending the opening of his play

James Baldwin’s Archive, Long Hidden, Comes (Mostly) Into View

Charlie Murphy, right, and his brother Eddie. In 2010, Charlie said that his choice to start a comedy career after his brother's success

Charlie Murphy, ‘Chappelle’s Show’ Star and Eddie’s Brother, Dies at 57

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Metropolitan Diary

Dear Diary: I worked at 40th Street and Third Avenue in the late 1970s. While heading to the subway one night, I noticed a group of people tiptoeing around and staring down at the sidewalk. It didn’t take long for me to realize they were looking for a contact lens. After watching for about two minutes, I suggested they all move to the side while I stepped into the street, bent down and looked across the surface of the sidewalk. Sure enough, there it was, like a tiny globe reflecting the light coming from the storefront behind it. A young woman thanked me and carefully retrieved the lens. I felt like a hero. Over the years, I have enjoyed telling my children and grandchildren about this experience, suggesting that sometimes it helps to look at a problem from a different angle.Read all recent entries and our submissions guidelines. Reach us via email diary@nytimes.com or follow@NYTMetro on Twitter using the hashtag #MetDiary. Read More, and See Today’s Weather and Commute »

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