Governor Cuomo Launches The New York State Excelsior Scholarship Application

First-in-the-Nation Program to Make SUNY and CUNY Tuition-Free for Families Making Up to $125,000 Per Year.

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Photo by: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, via Flickr.

Albany, NY - June 8, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the application for the Excelsior Scholarship is now open. SUNY and CUNY students whose families make up to $100,000 annually can now apply for tuition-free college here. When fully implemented, the Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other aid programs, will allow 52 percent of resident full-time students to attend a SUNY or CUNY two-year or four-year college tuition-free. 
 
"With the launch of the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship program, the dream of a college education and a better life is now within reach for all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "A college degree has become a necessity to succeed in the modern economy, and this program is the ticket to greater opportunity and will help build the stronger, smarter workforce New York needs to compete in the global economy." 
 
To be eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship, students must be New York State residents, plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year college, take 30 credits per year (including Summer and Winter sessions), and be on track to graduate on time with an Associate’s Degree in two years or a Bachelor’s Degree in four years. Recipients must also plan to live in New York State for the length of time they received the award.
 
Under this groundbreaking program, nearly 80 percent, or 940,000 middle-class families and individuals making up to $125,000 per year, would qualify to attend college tuition-free when fully phased in. A regional breakdown is available here.
 
Dr. Guillermo Linares, Acting President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, said, “Studies have found that states that make higher education a priority have smarter and more diverse talent pools and greater economic opportunities. Excelsior Scholarships are a sound investment in our students, our high-quality public university systems and our State.”
 
To apply, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the NYS Tuition Assistance Program application, if applicable, and the Excelsior Scholarship application at hesc.ny.gov/excelsior.
 
Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 21. Learn more at hesc.ny.gov.
 
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.