Applications to be Accepted Today, Monday, Oct. 30 - Dec. 4
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Excelsior Scholarship application for students to attend SUNY or CUNY tuition free this spring semester will open today, Monday, October 30th and will be open until December 4th. Recipients of the Excelsior Scholarship's spring awards will join the more than 210,000 students already attending a public college or university in New York State tuition-free, and the 45,000 students deemed eligible for the Scholarship in the fall.
"New York's Excelsior Scholarship has succeeded in opening doors to opportunity for students and families across the state and this week, we reopen the application process for these individuals to get a quality education tuition-free," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage income-eligible students in every corner of this state to take advantage of this chance to go to one of New York's top-notch SUNY and CUNY institutions this spring."
Students who did not receive the Excelsior Scholarship this fall and who meet all eligibility requirements can apply here starting today, October 30th. The Excelsior Scholarship is being phased in over three years. For the 2017-18 academic year New Yorkers with household incomes up to $100,000 are eligible, increasing to $110,000 in 2018-19, and reaching $125,000 in 2019-20. Students must be enrolled in college full-time and complete 30 credits per year (including Summer and January semesters) in order to receive the funding. However, the program has built in flexibility so that any student facing hardship is able to pause and restart the program, and all recipients can take fewer credits one semester than another in completing 30 credits per year.
Students are required to maintain a grade point average necessary for the successful completion of their coursework, and, as the program makes a major investment in the state's greatest asset - our young people - scholars will be required to live and work in-state after graduation for a duration equal to the number of years an Excelsior Scholarship was received.
Approximately 45,000 students were determined eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship this fall and are attending SUNY or CUNY tuition-free this year. This includes more than 23,000 who have their tuition covered through TAP, Pell and other financial aid, and nearly 22,000 who have their remaining tuition costs covered by the Scholarship. Students who learned of their eligibility for TAP and Pell through the Excelsior Scholarship application process may have otherwise been unaware of their ability to qualify for cost-free tuition. In total, approximately 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students, more than 210,000 New York residents, are going to school tuition-free thanks to the addition of students receiving the Excelsior Scholarship.
Dr. Guillermo Linares, Acting President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, said, "The opening of a spring application will enable many more students and families to benefit from this groundbreaking, first-in-nation program. The cost of college prevents many families with limited financial means from reaching their higher education goals. Tuition-free college removes that barrier for families in every corner of our state."
"Governor Cuomo's Excelsior Scholarship Program opens the door for thousands of students to receive a top quality higher education at any of SUNY's 64 colleges and universities," said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. "This first of its kind program ensures that New York State will continue to be a national leader in college accessibility and affordability, and we will work hard to unlock its full potential."
CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken said, "With Excelsior Scholarships complementing TAP and PELL, more than 60 percent of CUNY students will end up attending college tuition-free this semester. The expanded access that Governor Cuomo's landmark Excelsior Scholarship program provides to lower-income and middle-class students positions New York as a national leader in college affordability."
To apply, students must also have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the NYS Tuition Assistance Program application. Students currently receiving an award do not need to apply for a spring award.
Applications will be accepted through Monday, December 4. To learn more or to apply, click here.
About the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation
HESC is New York State's student financial aid agency and a national leader in providing need based grant and scholarship award money to college-going students. At HESC's core are programs like the Tuition Assistance Program or TAP, numerous state scholarships, federal college access grants and a highly successful College Savings program. HESC puts college within the reach of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year through programs like these and through the guidance it provides to students, families and counselors. In 2015-16, HESC helped more than 373,000 students achieve their college dreams by providing nearly $1.03 billion in grants, scholarships and loan forgiveness benefits, including $956 million awarded through the Tuition Assistance Program.