How To Apply For Excelsior Scholarship

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Do I Have To Take A Certain Number Of Credits To Be Eligible

Understanding and Applying for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship Program

A: Students must enroll full-time in a New York public college or university.

For any student receiving the Excelsior Scholarship they must enroll in a minimum of 12 credits per semester applicable to the students degree program and to continue to be eligible, he/she must continue to successfully complete 30 credits per year toward their degree program. Remedial credits cannot count toward full time or the 30 credit hours.

Exceptions exist for students meeting ADA definitions and students in EOP .

A: Yes. Current students, must be enrolled full-time and have successfully completed 30 college credits toward their major each year prior to applying for the Excelsior Scholarship.

Are There Other Requirements That I Must Meet After I Complete My Degree

Yes. You must live in New York State for the number of years equal to awards you received. For example, if you received four Excelsior Scholarship awards while earning your bachelors degree, you must live in New York state for four years after college. In addition, if you are working during those years, you must work in New York state. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the conversion of your award to a loan.

What Are The Basic Eligibility Requirements

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
  • be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year , applicable toward his or her degree program
  • if attended college prior to the 2022-23 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits each year , 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 imposed by a 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.

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Can I Get An Excelsior Scholarship Award If Im A Transfer Student

A student who transferred between colleges is eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship provided they do not have a break in enrollment and are on track to complete their Associates degree in 2 years or their Bachelors degree in 4 years based on the number of credits accepted by their current college.

Transfer Advanced Placement And Other Credits Earned Prior To Matriculation

Incoming Freshman should apply for the Excelsior Scholarship. Eligible ...

Transfer Credit Requirements to be considered for an Excelsior Scholarship, a student must have at least 30 credits per year that are accepted toward the degree program at SUNY-ESF.

Advanced Placement or Other Credits Earned Prior to Matriculation these credits may be used in any way needed to meet the credit hourrequirement for a year in which the 30 credit minimum was notmet. For example, a student taking only 12 credits in eachsemester may use 6 credits earned while in high school to meet the 30credit requirement for that year. The credits must meet a degreerequirement and can only be used in this way once. A student muststill be enrolled in at least 12 credits of coursework in each of theFall and Spring semesters.

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How Much Is The Excelsior Scholarship

An Excelsior Scholarship recipient may receive up to $5,500 from the Excelsior Scholarship, minus any amounts received for TAP, Pell or other scholarships.

  • The remainder of your tuition charge will be covered through a tuition credit paid through SUNY.
  • Excelsior scholarship awards do not cover other educational costs such as Comprehensive Student Fee, course fees, room, dining or books.

Excelsior Scholarship Coverage And Benefits:

A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship may receive up to $5,500. To determine the award amount, the 2016-21 resident tuition rate charged by SUNY or CUNY will be reduced by the amount of certain other student financial aid awards which an applicant has or will receive for the academic year, including an NYS Tuition Assistance Program award and/or federal Pell grant.

The Excelsior Scholarship will cover any remaining tuition liability up to $5,500, and a tuition credit will cover any remaining tuition expenses not covered by the Excelsior Scholarship.

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The Excelsior Scholarship Application Is Not Currently Available Visit The Excelsior Scholarship Website To Subscribe To Receive Application Updates

The Excelsior Scholarship is the state aid program approved under former Governor Cuomos Free-Tuition Plan.Important facts about the Excelsior Scholarship:

  • The Excelsior Scholarship is a last dollar award. This means that students must first apply for FAFSA and TAP. The Excelsior Scholarship will then cover the remaining balance of tuition after Pell, TAP and other grants, scholarships or other gift-aid for eligible students, up to $5,500. For complete instructions on how to apply for FAFSA and TAP please click here: Apply for Aid
  • Students will need to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship. The Excelsior Scholarship application is currently not available. Visit the Excelsior Scholarship website to subscribe to receive application updates.
  • Excelsior Scholarship eligibility requirements:

SUNY Schenectady recognizes that the Excelsior Scholarship is a valuable tool that will aid many New York State residents and we are committed to sharing the most up-to-date information that is available with our students. Please visit the two links below for a valuable Question and Answer platform that is hosted the SUNY and HESC.

The SUNY Schenectady Financial Aid Office is happy to answer questions the best they can with the knowledge that is currently available. Please feel free to contact with any questions or comments.


What Are The Terms Of The Scholarship

Window is open to apply for Excelsior Scholarships

Students must attend college full time, enrolled for at least 12 credits in the fall semester and 12 credits in the spring semester, with a cumulative 30 credits in a year. Students must maintain passing grades in all courses. Associate degree candidates must complete all degree requirements in two years and bachelors degree candidates must complete in four years.

When the scholarship ends, a recipient must continue to live and work in New York for the same amount of time the scholarship was received. If the recipient does not meet this obligation, the scholarship immediately converts into a 10-year, interest-free student loan that must be repaid.

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What If I Receive Other Grants And Scholarships That Cover The Cost Of Tuition

A: Students whose tuition is covered in full by TAP and Pell Grants are not eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship.

This is a last dollar scholarship, meaning that for eligible students, the State will cover the difference between full tuition minus all other grants and scholarships which can apply toward tuition.

When Does The Scholarship Go Into Effect

The benefits of the program became available with the fall 2017 semester, and require that the student apply and be accepted for the program and meet all program criteria. Applications are currently not being accepted but should New York State open up the application period again we will update this webpage.

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For Nys Residents Attending Suny/cuny Schools

The Excelsior Scholarship provides tuition-free college to families residing in NYS. A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship may receive up to $5,500.

Students must be enrolled in Cayuga Community Collegefull-time and successfully complete 30 credits per year to receive the funding. Students are required to maintain a grade point average necessary for the successful completion of their coursework.

Students With Disabilities Under The Americans With Disabilities Act Of 1990


To be eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship, students with qualified disabilities under the Americans With Disabilities Act who attend less than full time must register with their college office for students with disabilities.

If you are a student with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Excelsior Scholarship program requires that you be continuously enrolled and complete the number of credits you attempted each semester to fulfill the requirement for on-time degree completion. If you have not earned credits for all courses attempted, you can catch up on missing credits if you successfully earn additional credits during a Summer and/or Winter session and get back on track for credits that were not previously completed.

For more information, visit NYS Student Financial Aid Programs and Students with Disabilities.

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What Is The Definition Of A New York State Resident For The Purpose Of The Excelsior Scholarship

To be a NYS resident for purposes of receiving this award, applicants who consider NYS their permanent home and who are either a U.S. citizen, qualified paroled refugee, or permanent resident alien must have resided in New York State for 12 continuous months prior to the term for which the award is being sought.

Applicants who qualify for the award under the NYS DREAM Act must meet one of the eligible citizenship/immigration classifications as well as the high school or tuition charge requirements.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants

The FSEOG program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by New York University to provide assistance to students with exceptional financial need. If you qualify for this grant, you will be automatically considered.

Who is Eligible

  • Undergraduate students who are also eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and NYU scholarship recipients will automatically be considered. FSEOG may be awarded in place of scholarship funding.

How to Apply

  • Complete the FAFSA. You will be automatically considered if you qualify.

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Veterans Administration Scholarship Program

Excelsior University works in collaboration with the Veterans Healthcare Administration to promote the retention and reduce the attrition rates of VA scholarship participants enrolled in a nursing program at Excelsior University. Specific program planning was introduced and an advisor assigned to work with students and their respective VA Program Coordinators. Specific program planning is in place and an advisor is assigned to work with students and their respective VA Program Coordinators.

There are two scholarships offered by the VA for enrolled Excelsior nursing students:

  • Employee Incentive Scholarship Program This is for associate degree in nursing students. These students continue to work while earning their degree and have a maximum of 6 years to complete the program.
  • National Nursing Education Initiative scholarship This is for students enrolled in the RN-BS or MS in nursing degree programs. These students continue to work while earning their degree and have a maximum of 6 years to complete the program.

How Excelsior Awards Are Calculated

Excelsior Scholarship – What to know!

TAP, Pell and any other grants or scholarships not designated for non-tuition expenses are subtracted from the frozen tuition amount of SUNY $7,070 the amount remaining is your Excelsior Scholarship award up to a maximum of $5,500. Any remaining tuition liability will be covered by a tuition credit paid through SUNY.

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Excelsior Scholarship Program 2022

Excelsior Scholarship 2022-2023 are now accepting online applications from all qualified students. In conjunction with other student financial assistance programs. The Excelsior Scholarship permits students to attend a SUNY or CUNY institution tuition-free.

A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship is eligible to receive award payments for no more than two years of full-time undergraduate study in a programme leading to an associates degree. Or four years of full-time undergraduate study, or five years if the programme of study normally requires five years, in a programme leading to a bachelors degree.

Furthermore, a student who is not on schedule to complete an Associates degree in two consecutive years or a Bachelors degree in four consecutive years. Which requires completion of the equivalent of 30 credits per academic year can catch up on credits to become eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship. If you successfully gain extra credits during a term or academic year and get back on schedule to finish your degree on time. Also, you will be eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship for the duration of your undergraduate degree programme. You may also check: Excelsior Scholarship 2022

Excelsior Scholarship At A Glance

The Excelsior Scholarship is an innovative, tuition-free program aimed at making an education more affordable for New York State families. SUNY Oneonta is excited about the promise of this groundbreaking program and we are eager to answer your questions and share what we know:

First Year Students:

  • Be a New York State Resident for 12 consecutive months prior to the start of the term
  • Be a U.S. citizen or non-eligible citizen
  • Have graduated from a high school in the U.S. or earned an equivalency diploma
  • Have a combined federal Adjusted Gross Income of $125,000 or less
  • Be pursuing an undergraduate degree
  • Execute a contract agreeing to reside in New York State for the length of time the award was received, and, if employed during such a time, be employed in New York State

Continuing Students/Transfer Students:

  • Meet all of the criteria listed for New students
  • If attended college prior to the 2022-2023 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits each year , applicable toward his or her degree program prior to applying for an Excelsior Scholarship
  • complete your New York State Tuition Assistance Program application for the 2022-2023 school year using your 2020 tax information
  • have on hand copies of 2020 New York State income tax return filed by you and your parent, as applicable
  • have a copy of your 2020 NYS IT-201-I and
  • have a copy of your award letter from SUNY Oneonta.

Excelsior is available during open application periods here: Excelsior Scholarship Program

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Ny State Residency And Employment Requirements

Recipients of the Excelsior Scholarship must sign a contract agreeing to live in New York State for a continuous number of years equal to the duration of the awards received and, if employed during this period, to be employed in New York State.

  • Failure to meet these requirements within six months of receipt of the final payment will convert all award funds received to a 10-year student loan without interest.
  • The requirements may be deferred in order for the student to complete undergraduate or graduate study, including medical residency, on at least a half-time basis.
  • Students who lose eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship while still enrolled may count non-funded years of enrollment towards the years of required residency in the state.
  • The amount of funds converted to a loan may be prorated based on the length of time the student complied with the requirement.

Agreement To Reside In New York State


Recipients of the Excelsior Scholarship must reside exclusively in New York State and shall not be employed in any other state for the same number of years as the student received the Excelsior Scholarship. If the student fails to live in NYS for the required length of time, or if the student works in another state, the Excelsior Scholarship will be converted to an interest-free student loan .

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Are There Any Exceptions To The Rules

Yes. Students with a disability within the definitions of the American with Disabilities Act are exempt from the full-time attendance requirement, both the 12 credits per fall and spring semester and 30 credits per year.

A temporary leave from school that might cause a student to fall below the 30 credit requirement are allowed due to the death of a family member, a medical leave, military service, service in the Peace Corps, parental leave, or another reason approved by the Higher Education Services Corp.

Students who after their scholarship ends, can get a residency requirement deferral for graduate school, a medical school residency or other undergraduate study out of state on at least a half-time basis, or if they can demonstrate extreme hardship as a result of a disability, labor market conditions or other circumstances.

How To Calculate The Excelsior Scholarship Awards Estimate

To determine a students estimated annual Excelsior Scholarship award amount, the 201617 resident tuition rate charged by SUNY or the current resident tuition rate will be reduced by the amount of all other student financial aid awards which an applicant has or will receive for the 2020-2021 academic year, excluding any awards for college work study or federal or private student loans made by a lending institution.

In addition, no deduction should be made for any award that is exclusively designated for a non-tuition expense, such as housing, books, computer equipment. The Excelsior Scholarship and Excelsior Tuition Credit will cover any remaining tuition liability up to $6,470 . An Excelsior tuition credit will cover any remaining tuition liability that exceeds $6,470.

If a student receives any of the following assistance , the amount of the aid received must be subtracted from the 2016-17 annual tuition:

  • Supplemental Opportunity Educational Grant
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal Scholarships
  • SUNY Tuition Credit
  • NYS Regents Awards for Child of Deceased and Disabled Veterans
  • NYS Achievement and Investment in Merit Scholarship
  • Private Grants/Scholarships
  • Note: Student loans are not deducted from the annual tuition.

    Example 1

    An Excelsior recipient attending a SUNY four-year college receives a $500 Pell Grant, a $500 TAP award, and $750 in College Work Study.

    The calculation for the annual Excelsior Scholarship award will be as follows:

    2016-17 Tuition: $6,470

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