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New Mexico to offer free tuition to state residents

College graduates throwing caps in the air
College graduates throwing caps in the air. Photo: Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images

New Mexico is set to announce Wednesday that state residents would have access to free college for both 2- and 4-year public schools, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The state proposal is the furthest reaching plan yet for free college, offering tuition to all 29 public universities for families to any resident, regardless of the ability to pay.

The big picture: With student debt reaching $1.5 trillion nationally, at least half the states have begun to offer some type of free college to help its residents grapple with rising costs. Some schools or programs, like the recent announcement from Cornell's medical school, have taken it upon themselves to pay for all costs for students.

Yes, but: The New Mexico proposal is only for tuition and won't include room and board, books or other living expenses. The proposal still needs legislative approval.

Go deeper: Debt-free college: Where the 2020 presidential candidates stand