New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Mills announces free tuition for low-income students starting fall 2024

Starting in the fall 2024 semester, students in households that make less than $100,000 will not have to pay tuition at NYU.
Manasa Gudavalli
Former NYU presidents John Sexton and Andrew Hamilton watch current president Linda Mills give her inaugural address. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Low-income students will no longer have to pay tuition at NYU starting in the fall 2024 semester, according to an announcement made by university president Linda Mills at her inauguration Tuesday. The change will only apply to incoming students who live in households earning annual incomes of $100,000 or less.

During her speech, Mills also revealed that the university’s prison education program, which provides incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students with free college courses, will now allow students to earn bachelor’s degrees.

“The wisdom is in the room right here right now,” Mills said. “We need to build on this internal and untapped imagination to develop our capacity and do what NYU does best, seize the future.” 

Bill de Blasio laughing and wearing a navy suit, blue shirt and red tie.
Former New York City mayor Bill de Blasio at the reception of the 17th presidential inauguration ceremony. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Former New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said he believes the announcement will help alleviate the economic burdens many students face while attending NYU.

“Part of why I came to NYU as an undergrad was I felt it represented something inclusive,” de Blasio said in an interview with WSN. “Often the greatest form of exclusion is economic and the idea that now families of more modest means can know their child is getting an education, this is the kind of thing you dream about when you think about how to make fundamental change.” 

Andrew Hamilton laughing and wearing a navy suit, blue shirt and purple tie. He is talking to someone in a black suit with their back turned away.
Former NYU president Andrew Hamilton at the reception of the 17th Presidential Inauguration ceremony. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

The ceremony, which took place at the Paulson Center, cemented Mills as the 17th president of NYU, the first to be a woman. Mills succeeds former president Andrew Hamilton, who attended the event alongside the university’s 15th president, John Sexton. 

“I couldn’t be more excited,” Hamilton said in an interview with WSN. “There have been 16 presidents before Linda and each one of us builds on the achievements of the predecessor. I had the great good fortune of following John Sexton, and Linda, I know, will build on the achievements of her predecessors and NYU will be in good hands.”

Evan Chesler in a purple gown with the N.Y.U. logo and silver detailing stands behind a clear podium. Behind him stands Linda Mills looking over at him.
Chair of the university’s Board of Trustees Evan Chesler presents the founding charter of the university to President Linda Mills. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Evan Chesler, the recently appointed chair of the university’s board of trustees, said that he thinks Mills’ announcement will expand academic opportunities for low-income students. 

“Our story is all about access, giving students an education that they might not otherwise have received — that’s what I got from this university,” Chesler said in an interview with WSN. “Everything that President Mills is focused on is giving access to a world class education for students who might not otherwise get it.” 

A crowd of people with signs gathered around a man holding a megaphone wearing a gray jacket.
Students and faculty gather in front of the Paulson Center during NYU’s inauguration of the president to protest the university’s elimination of faculty adjuncts from teaching assignments. (Rin Qi for WSN)

Toward the end of the ceremony, around 40 students and faculty gathered outside of Paulson to protest recent changes to adjunct professors’ course assignments. Other on-campus unions, including Contract Faculty United, which represents contract faculty at NYU, and ACT-UAW Local 7902, which represents part-time faculty at the university, held signs outside of the building.

Since February, the contract faculty union has been demanding recognition from NYU, asking for fair collective bargaining with the administration, the assurance of due process for faculty terminations and the implementation of annual raises that match inflation rates. 

The adjunct union has also recently become unhappy with the university’s administration. On Sept. 19, members of ACT-UAW Local 7902 wrote an open letter to Mills, garnering over 2,000 signatures. In the letter, the union demanded that NYU restore any jobs adjuncts lost this year to what the university has said were pandemic-related enrollment and budget changes.

Linda Mills in a black gown with silver trim stands behind a clear podium with a reflector in front of it. The silhouettes of the back of people’s heads are in front of her.
President Linda Mills at her Presidential Inauguration ceremony hosted at the Paulson Center. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

In an email interview with WSN in March, Mills said she believes that all employees of NYU, regardless of union status, should be “treated with dignity” and that the university’s goal in bargaining efforts is to come to an agreement that respects and honors the contributions of these employees.

Stephen Rechner, the president of the union of clerical, administrative and technical staff at NYU, said adequate benefits for university workers are a necessity for employees to be able to continue to work there. 

“We have to be able to afford to live in this city,” Rechner said. “We’re here to talk to Linda Mills today directly and tell her that workers need to be paid, workers deserve a good contract that protects their benefits and their wages and their working conditions, so that NYU is a place where people can stay.” 

The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the rally. 

Maisie Zipfel contributed reporting.

Contact Bruna Horvath at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Bruna Horvath
Bruna Horvath, News Editor
Bruna Horvath is a sophomore studying journalism and English at CAS. When she’s not a News Editor, she’s a "Gone Girl" enthusiast, a Goodreads lover, and a Barnes & Noble frequenter. You can usually find her ordering an iced mocha, telling people her name is “Bruna” not “Bruno,” or on Instagram @brunaahorvath.
Manasa Gudavalli
Manasa Gudavalli, Editor-in-Chief
Manasa Gudavalli is a super senior studying a super strange combination of psychology, mathematics, journalism, and chemistry. When they are not editing the Washington Square News, they are probably reading Freud, watching college football, or developing film photos. You can find them on Instagram @manasa.gudavalli and

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