Excelsior Scholarship

New Scholarship for New York Residents

Apply for the Excelsior Scholarship

The University is pleased to announce that the State of New York, under the leadership of Governor Cuomo and the legislature, is taking a bold step in addressing the cost of college education and student loan debt by launching the Excelsior Scholarship.  This program is the first of its kind in the country. It will enable many New York State residents to attend a CUNY college tuition-free and establish a national model broadening access to higher education.

Recipients of this award 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 $110,000 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;
  • if attended college prior to the 2018-19 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 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.

The Excelsior Scholarship will be applied to each qualifying student’s financial aid package after all other aid, including TAP, Pell, City Council Scholarship, college scholarships and other grants or scholarships are applied.

The Excelsior Scholarship application for the 2018-2019 academic year will open Monday, March 26 at hesc.ny.gov/excelsior. And the deadline is July 23, 2018.
Please contact the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372 or email excelsior@hesc.ny.gov if you have any questions.