Excelsior Scholarship

New Scholarship for New York Residents

Apply for the Excelsior Scholarship

The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a CUNY or SUNY college tuition-free.

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 $125,000 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 2019-20 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 2019-2020 academic year is now open. Please visit hesc.ny.gov/excelsior. to apply.

Current Excelsior Scholarship recipients should not complete this application.

Application Deadline: August 15, 2019

Please contact the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372 or email excelsior@hesc.ny.gov if you have any questions.