This article provides comprehensive insights into the Excelsior Scholarship program, including details about the application process. It is designed to give you a clear and concise understanding of all the required information.
Image Credit: The Excelsior Scholarship
What Is The Excelsior Scholarship?
The Excelsior Scholarship for the year 2024, in conjunction with various other student financial aid initiatives, offers eligible students the opportunity to pursue their education at a SUNY or CUNY college without the burden of tuition fees.
The Excelsior Scholarship is a state-funded program in New York that aims to provide tuition-free education to students enrolling in institutions affiliated with the State University of New York (SUNY) or the City University of New York (CUNY).
SUNY Empire State College actively encourages its current and prospective students to consider this opportunity if they meet the eligibility criteria. The scholarship has a maximum annual award cap of $5,500, specifically for covering tuition costs.
The scholarship recipients may receive up to $5,500 or the actual tuition amount, whichever is lower. It’s important to note that the Maximum Award may be adjusted based on other financial aid the applicant receives during the academic year, including grants such as the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) or federal Pell Grants.
A scholarship recipient can benefit from this financial aid for a maximum of two years for an associate’s degree program or four years for a bachelor’s degree program. However, in cases where the program typically requires five years to complete, eligibility extends to five years.
An essential requirement for eligibility is that recipients must be New York State residents when they receive the award. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the conversion of the scholarship into an interest-free loan.
Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to thoroughly research the scholarship program to determine if it aligns with their educational and financial goals.
In brief, the New York State Scholarship initiative covers in-state public college tuition costs for residents whose families have an annual income below a specified limit of $100,000 in 2017. This translates to potential annual savings ranging from $4,000 to $6,500, depending on whether the student attends a community college or a four-year institution.
It’s important to note that while the scholarship covers tuition, students are responsible for additional expenses such as fees, room, and board, which can amount to up to $14,000 per year.
To maintain eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship, students must complete 30 annual class credits at a state university in the State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY) systems. Additionally, there is a GPA requirement to meet.
Upon graduation, recipients of the Excelsior Scholarship are required to live and work in New York for the same number of years they received the scholarship.
The annual income limit for eligibility is set to increase as the Excelsior program is phased in, reaching $110,000 in 2019 and $125,000 in 2020. As the program fully matures, an estimated 200,000 students are anticipated to qualify for this valuable opportunity.
Level/Field of Study
This scholarship opportunity is available to university students, allowing them to pursue their preferred academic programs.
The scholarship will be taken in New York State, USA.
This scholarship welcomes applications from individuals of all nationalities, provided they currently reside in New York or have maintained continuous residency in the state for at least 12 months.
The Excelsior Scholarship Recovery Year
For individuals who initially enrolled as university freshmen during the 2015-16 academic year and completed 54 credits or those who entered as freshmen in the 2016-17 academic year and accomplished 24 credits, there is an opportunity to reclaim these 6 credits in the year 2024.
Furthermore, students who successfully complete 36 credits during the 2023 academic year could potentially qualify for the Scholarship starting from the 2024 academic year.
The Excelsior Scholarship Value
- The budget allocates $8 million to provide open educational resources, including e-books, to SUNY and CUNY students, easing the financial burden of textbooks.
- Recipients of the Excelsior Scholarship can receive a maximum of $5,500 from the scholarship after deducting any amounts received from TAP, Pell Grants, or other grants. Any remaining tuition charges will be covered by a tuition credit disbursed through SUNY or CUNY.
- This scholarship initiative effectively renders SUNY tuition-free for numerous eligible students, encompassing both SUNY and CUNY institutions.
- For context, the current resident undergraduate tuition at SUNY four-year universities stands at $6,470, while the average SUNY community college tuition is $4,366.
- Students pursuing an associate’s degree can benefit from the scholarship for up to two years, and those pursuing a bachelor’s degree can receive support for up to four years.
Who is Eligible To Apply For The Excelsior Scholarship?
To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:
1. Residency: Applicants must be residents of the State of New York and have continuously lived in the state for a 12-month period before the scholarship period begins.
2. Citizenship: Applicants should be either U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
3. Education: Applicants must have graduated from a U.S. high school, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test as defined by the State Department of Education Commissioner.
4. Income: Applicants should have a federal adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less.
5. University Enrollment: Applicants must enroll in a bachelor’s degree program at a SUNY or CUNY university to be considered. This includes community colleges and statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University.
6. Credit Requirements: Applicants must enroll in and complete at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year relevant to their undergraduate program of study.
7. Prior University Attendance: If an applicant attended university before the 2018-19 academic year, they must have earned at least 30 credits each year, consecutively, that are applicable to their university study program before applying for this scholarship.
8. Loan Status: Applicants must not default on a student loan acquired through any New York State or federal educational loan program or default on any New York State award payments.
9. Compliance with Prior Awards: Applicants must comply with the terms and conditions associated with any previous New York State awards they have received.
10. Residency Agreement: Successful applicants must sign a contract agreeing to reside in the State of New York when the award is received. They must also be employed within the state if employed during this time.
How to Apply
Current scholarship recipients are not required to submit this request. If an individual has received an award for the first time for the 2024 academic year, no additional steps are necessary for the same year.
Applicants interested in applying for the scholarship can access the application process through the provided link: Excelsior Scholarship Application.
Deadline for application
The deadline for the Scholarship Program is July annually.
Can a New York State resident get this scholarship?
Yeah. If you are a New York State resident whose household adjusted gross income (as reported on your 2015 federal tax returns) does not exceed $100,000 for the 2024 academic year and you complete 30 credits per year, you will be eligible to attend a SUNY or CUNY university tuition-free.
What is the requirement for a New York State resident to obtain this scholarship?
To be considered a resident of New York State for purposes of receiving this award, you must have resided in the state for 12 consecutive months prior to the period for which the award is claimed.
How much can you get from this scholarship?
A recipient may receive up to $5,500 from the Grant, less any amounts received from TAP, Pell or other grants. The remainder of your tuition charge will be covered through a tuition credit paid through SUNY or CUNY.
Does eligibility allow you to attend CUNY?
Yes. Eligible students will receive awards for attending a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free this fall.
How long is the scholarship valid?
You can earn an award of up to two years for students pursuing an associate’s degree and up to four years for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Students in an undergraduate degree program that normally requires five years are eligible to receive the award for five years.