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Excelsior Scholarship

Attend college tuition-free at SUNY and CUNY schools

The Excelsior Scholarship gives eligible New York State students the opportunity to attend col­lege tuition-free at SUNY and CUNY schools—making college possible for hundreds of thousands of students across the state. Students currently attending college who are on track to complete their degrees on time and first-year college stu­dents are eligible to apply. 

Recipients may receive up to $5,500 each year. Amounts are awarded for two years for students pursuing an associate's de­gree, and four years for a bachelor's degree program. To determine the award amount, the resident tuition rate charges by SUNY (currently $6,470) or CUNY (currently $6,330) is reduced by the amount of certain other student financial aid awards received for the year, including a NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award and/or Federal Pell Grant. The Excelsior Scholarship covers any remaining tuition liability up to $5,500, and a tuition credit covers any remaining tuition expenses.

 

To be eligible, you must

  • Be a NYS resident

  • Meet family income limits ($125,000 or less on the 2018 tax return for the 2019-2020 academic year)

  • Pursue an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college, including commu­nity colleges

  • Be enrolled in at least 12 college credits per term and complete 30 credits each year, successively

  • Have earned at least 30 credits each year, successively, applicable towards de­gree program prior to applying, if attended college prior to 2018-19 academic year

  • After completing your degree, you must live in New York State for the number of years equal to the awards you received

 

 

How to apply

  • First, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

  • Then, visit hesc.ny.gov/excelsior for com­plete eligibility requirements, deadline in­formation, and the Excelsior Scholarship application

 

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