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Monday June 12, 2017 at 9:30am Age: 159 days
Category: High School

NYS EXCELSIOR SCHOLARSHIP MAKES COLLEGE POSSIBLE FOR LOW/MIDDLE INCOME STUDENTS: APPLY BY JULY 21


Application for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship, the nation's first tuition-free degree program for full time students is now open.

SUNY and CUNY students whose families make up to $100,000 annually can now apply for tuition-free college on the Excelsior Scholarship Program websiteStudents must submit their applications by July 21.


Enhanced Tuition Awards of up to $6,000 are also available for resident students enrolled in a private college in New York State.


How do I know if I qualify?

Student applicants must:

  • Be residents of New York State.
  • Enroll in a SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year degree program.
  • Take 30 credits per calendar year (including winter and summer sessions).
  • Plan to live and work in New York following graduation for the length of time they participate in the scholarship program.

Recipients of the scholarship must meet all eligibility requirements throughout the course of the scholarship program. For example, 30 credits MUST be completed per year to receive the scholarship.

Failure to meet eligibility requirements during the scholarship would result in the scholarship being converted into a loan.

An important requirement worth highlighting is that after the degree has been awarded, recipients of the Excelsior scholarship are required to live and work in New York State for the number of years equal to awards. For example, if you receive four Excelsior Scholarship awards while getting your bachelor’s degree, you must live in New York State for four years after college. In addition, if you are working during those years, you must work in New York State. Failure to meet these requirements would also result in the conversion of the award to a loan.

What do I need to apply?

To complete the application you will need:

  • Copies of 2015 New York State income tax return(s) filed by you and your parent(s) or your spouse, as applicable.
  • Your current unofficial college transcript showing the number of credits you earned each year prior to applying for this program if you have previously attended college.
  • Your Student Aid Report (SAR), which you received when you filed your completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Excelsior Program’s website also includes frequently asked questions, application tips and other helpful information.

Students and family members are encouraged to reach out to school Counselors. You can also call the Excelsior Scholarship Hotline at 888-697-4372 or send an email to scholarships@hesc.ny.gov.