Free tuition doesn't mean free college, students point out

They don't mean to sound ungrateful, but ... New York public college students who stand to gain from the nation's most ambitious free-tuition proposal point to a sobering reality: Free tuition doesn't mean free college.

Students tell The Associated Press tuition help is welcome but the $6,500-a-year expense is only about a third of the total bill when things like housing and books are added.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal would pay the difference between financial aid and tuition at public colleges for students whose families earn $125,000 or less.

Cuomo's office says the goal is to provide the most students with the greatest opportunity.

The New York proposal is one of an increasing number of plans across the country aimed at the nation's $1.2 trillion in student debt.