The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. The program covers tuition for eligible SUNY and CUNY students. For the 2023-24 academic year, families who earned $125,000 or less in the tax year 2021 are eligible to apply.
An applicant must:
- be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- have either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test, as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
- have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less;
- be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University;
- be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program through continuous study with no break in enrollment except for certain reasons that can be documented;
- if attended college prior to the 2023-24 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program prior to applying for an Excelsior Scholarship;
- be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award;
- be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by any NYS award that you have previously received; and
- execute a Contract agreeing to reside in NYS for the length of time the award was received, and, if employed during such time, be employed in NYS.
Students whose current income or prior year adjusted gross income is $125,000 or below due to the disability, divorce or separation of a parent, spouse or the student or the death of a parent or spouse may request a review of their eligibility by completing the Income Eligibility Determination Form and uploading to https://www.hesc.ny.gov/ExcelsiorDetermination.
Recipients who do not meet the annual credit or continuous enrollment requirements due to one of the conditions indicated below may be able to retain their Excelsior Scholarship awards. If you meet any of the following conditions, please reach out to your school to have your eligibility reviewed. Please note that documentation will be required. Your school will notify HESC if it is determined that you are eligible to receive your award.
You may be eligible to retain your award under the following conditions:
- You experience a death of an immediate family member
- You are called to active military duty
- You interrupt your studies to take care of your new-born child (parental leave)
- Your medical or health care provider determines that your medical condition or mental health prevents you from beginning or continuing the term or from continuing a full-time course load.
- You interrupt your studies to care for an immediate family member, whose medical or heath care provider has determined to need additional support or care, which impacts your ability to begin or continue the term or from continuing a full-time course load.
Please be aware that other circumstances other than those indicated above may not allow you to retain your award under State laws and regulations.
Click here to apply NYS Higher Education Services Corporation
Application deadline – August 31st, 2023 at midnight.
Source: New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC)
Click here for the link to the website and more information NYS Higher Education Services Corporation – The Excelsior Scholarship