Eligible students can apply for full tuition awards through the Excelsior Scholarship program.
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Excelsior Scholarship Information
Applying for the Scholarship
The application deadline for the Fall 2018-19 academic year has passed.
Frequently Asked Questions
For the 2018-19 academic year, New York state residents whose family household adjusted gross income does not exceed $110,000 (as filed on your 2016 federal tax returns) are eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship.
You must be enrolled full time and complete 30 degree applicable credits per year (defined as 365 days). Students can use credits earned during winter or summer semesters to meet the 30 credit per year requirement.
|First-time Students||Must be a NYS resident whose family household adjusted gross income does not exceed $110,000.|
|Current Students||Must be on track to complete your degree on time and meet the income guidelines.|
Must be on track to complete your degree on time based on the number of credits accepted by your current college and meet the income guidelines.
an Associate's Degree
|Must meet the academic requirements and income guidelines to use the scholarship to complete your bachelor's degree.|
Exceptions for Individuals with Disabilities
As with the TAP grants, students with disabilities will not be required to register full-time to be eligible for the scholarship, but must remain continuously enrolled and complete the number of credits that they attempt each semester.
An Excelsior Scholarship recipient can receive up to $5,500, minus any amounts received for TAP, Pell, or other grants or scholarships (unless specifically indicated for non-tuition expenses). The remainder of your tuition charge will be covered through a tuition credit paid through SUNY.
Guidelines are based on household adjusted gross income:
$110,000Federal household adjusted gross income can total up to $110,000 as filed on your 2016 federal tax returns
$125,000Federal household adjusted gross income can total up to $125,000 as filed on your 2017 federal tax returns
You are eligible to get an award for up to 4 years for students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree.
According to HESC, recipients must earn a passing grade in their coursework to maintain the scholarship. HESC regulations may give more detail regarding the timeframe for certification and what constitutes a passing grade, especially as it relates to programs which require a specified grade (e.g. "C" or better) in a course.
Recipients must complete a total of 30 degree applicable credits over the course of
a year (defined as 365 days) and be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits in a semester. Recipients
may use intersessions and summer terms in accumulating 30 credits within the year.
Keep in mind that that you may have other awards which also carry academic standards that differ from those required for the Excelsior Scholarship.
Maintaining Your Scholarship
You can lose the scholarship if you do not continue to meet all eligibility requirements. For example, you must enroll in at least 12 credits per term and complete 30 credits per year to continue to receive the scholarship.
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 getting your bachelor’s 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.
No Age Limit
You can enroll at any age and don't have to be a recent high school graduate. However, you cannot be in default on existing federal or state student loans.
You must be a citizen, permanent resident, or refugee to be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship.
Students who have had a change in their financial circumstances due to disability, divorce or separation of a parent or spouse, or the death of a parent or spouse may appeal for reconsideration of eligibility based on current circumstances. An Income Appeal Form (found on the HESC website) must be completed and submitted directly to HESC at Income.Appeals@hesc.ny.gov.
Students who are determined to be ineligible for failure to meet the continuous enrollment or annual credit hour requirements and who can demonstrate good cause may appeal for reconsideration. An Excelsior Scholarship Program Appeal Form (found on the HESC website) must be completed and submitted directly to HESC at Excelsior.Appeals@hesc.ny.gov.