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Excelsior Scholarship makes college possible for low and middle income students

Program details include course load and GPA minimums, requirement to live in New York State upon graduation

May 31, 2017—New York’s tuition-free degree program, the Excelsior Scholarship, makes college possible for hundreds of thousands of students across the state by helping to alleviate the crushing burden of student debt.

The program begins immediately for students whose families make less than $100,000 annually in 2017. The proposed scholarship will extend to those families making $110,000 in 2018 and $125,000 annually by 2019.

Applications for the scholarship are expected to be available on Wednesday, June 7.

Student eligibility requirements:

  • Be residents of New York State (a full year prior to beginning college)
  • Plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year degree program (in-state)
  • Take 30 credits per year and make progress towards graduation (full-course load)
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Be on track to graduate on time with an Associate’s Degree in two years or a Bachelor’s Degree in four years
  • Recipients of the scholarship must meet all eligibility requirements throughout the course of the scholarship program. For example, 30 credits MUST be completed per year to receive the scholarship.

Failure to meet eligibility requirements during the scholarship would result in the scholarship being converted into a loan.

An important requirement worth highlighting is that after the degree has been awarded, recipients of the Excelsior scholarship are required to live and work in New York State for the number of years equal to awards. For example, if you receive 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 would also result in the conversion of the award to a loan.

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the state’s Excelsior Scholarship Fact Sheets.

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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