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New York State Excelsior Scholarship Application

The Excelsior Scholarship, Making College Possible
Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature enacted the Excelsior Scholarship program, which is administered by the Higher Education Services Corporation. Below is information provided by the Governor’s office about the program’s application, which is now available:
The Excelsior Scholarship makes New York State public universities tuition-free for families making up to $125,000 per year once fully phased in. The scholarship is available to students attending a SUNY or CUNY school starting this fall whose families make up to $100,000.
The Excelsior Scholarship application is now available on the Higher Education Services Corporation website. The application is open until July 21. You can find more information, including FAQs and a sign-up form to receive email alerts about the scholarship, at the HESC Excelsior Scholarship FAQs page. As an education leader in your community, please share this information widely and encourage students to apply.
More than 940,000 middle-class families across New York State will be eligible for the Scholarship, and the requirements are simple. In order to apply, students must:
  • Be residents of New York State
  • Plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year degree program
  • Take 30 credits per year and make progress towards graduation
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Be on track to graduate on time with an Associate’s Degree in two years or a Bachelor’s Degree in four years
New regulations passed by the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Board of Trustees further clarify and provide flexibility for Excelsior Scholars by:
  • Allowing for the interruption of study and waiver of post-award obligations based on military service requirements
  • Allowing students to apply college credits earned in high school toward the 30-credits per year completion requirements
  • Prorating repayment of an award if residency/work requirements are not met, and making provisions for waiver/postponement of repayment in cases of extreme hardship
  • Allowing current college students who are six or less credits short of meeting the program’s credit requirements the opportunity to become eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship in 2018-2019, enabling them to “catch up” and qualify
  • Authorizing disabled students to attend part-time and receive a pro-rated award
The program goes into effect immediately, and is available for students whose families earn up to $100,000 annually beginning in the fall of 2017. It will extend to families making up to $125,000 annually by 2019.
Please visit the HESC site to learn more.