Excelsior Scholarship Program: Everything You Need to Know

The Excelsior Scholarship, by the State of New York, is a brave move to address the high cost of tertiary education and student loan debt. This is the nation’s first program of its sort.

In addition to creating a national paradigm for broader access to higher education, it allows many New York State residents to enroll in CUNY colleges without paying tuition.

The Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted along with the TAP and Excelsior Scholarship applications or the NYS Dream Act application (if applicable), and recipients of this award must have a family income of $125,000 or less.

Additionally, they must enroll full-time and complete 30 credits a year. Furthermore, award winners must commit to only reside in New York State and forego employment there for a continuous period equal to the duration of the award.

The Excelsior Scholarship will be added to each qualifying student’s financial assistance package after TAP, Pell, City Council, college scholarships, and other grants or scholarships have been considered.

About the State University of New York (SUNY)

More than 95% of New Yorkers reside within 30 miles of one of the 64 colleges and universities that make up the State University of New York (SUNY).

Four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the oldest maritime school in the nation, the lone college of optometry in the state, and one US Department of Energy National Laboratory are all part of the SUNY system.

Between its credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach initiatives, SUNY enrolls nearly 1.4 million students. SUNY manages nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. 

In the fiscal year 2022, system-wide research spending will be close to $1.1 billion, with considerable contributions from faculty and students. One in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alumnus, with more than three million SUNY graduates worldwide. Visit suny.edu to find out more about how SUNY provides chances.

What You Need To Know About The Excelsior Scholarship Program

Here is every detail about the Excelsior Scholarship Program;

Level/Field of Study

There are no restrictions as to the level or field of study. Feel free to apply for the scholarship if you meet the criteria.

Host Nationality

The State University of New York (SUNY) hosts the Excelsior Scholarship Program in New York, United States of America.

Eligible Nationality

The Excelsior Scholarship Program is primarily for Americans, but other nationalities are as considered.

Do not miss out! Apply for Horatio Alger today. See details here: Horatio Alger Association Scholarship for Distinguished Americans.

The Excelsior Scholarship Program Benefits

After other federal, state, and private grants and scholarships are applied, the Excelsior Scholarship covers any outstanding tuition costs up to $5,500.

The additional student financial aid benefits for the academic year, such as a NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award or a Federal Pell Grant, are first subtracted from the tuition rate charged to arrive at the award amount.

The Excelsior Scholarship covers the remaining tuition costs of up to $5,500. Tuition credit will take care of the remaining debt in cases where tuition costs are greater than the total amount of financial aid a recipient is given.

For no more than four years of full-time undergraduate study—or five years if the program of study normally requires five years—in a program leading to a bachelor’s degree, or for no more than two years of full-time undergraduate study in an associate’s degree program, a recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship is eligible to receive award payments.

Payment Recipients must annually submit the NYS Student Aid Payment Application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for award payments.

Excelsior Scholarship Program Eligibility

If you want to be eligible for this scholarship, you must;

  • Be a New York State resident who has lived in the state for at least 12 months previous to the start of the term;
  • Be a US citizen or a qualified non-citizen;
  • have either graduated from high school in the United States, obtained a high school equivalency diploma, or completed a federally recognized “Ability to Benefit” test as determined by the State Education Department Commissioner;
  • Have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less; be enrolled in an undergraduate program at a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges and Cornell University’s and Alfred University’s statutory colleges;
  • be enrolled in at least 12 credits every term and complete at least 30 credits per year (successfully), applicable to his or her degree program through continuous study with no breaks in enrollment except for specified documented reasons;
  • Suppose he or she attended college. In that case, he or she must have earned at least 30 credits per year (consecutively) related to his or her degree program before applying for an Excelsior Scholarship.
  • Be in good standing about repayment of any NYS award, student loans taken out through federal or NYS education loan programs, or both.
  • be in accordance with the conditions of the service condition(s) imposed by any earlier NYS award; 
  • And sign a contract pledging to live in New York State for the duration of the award and to work in New York State if employed during that period.

Catching Up on Credits

To be eligible to apply for an Excelsior Scholarship, a candidate must be on track to finish an Associate’s degree in two consecutive years or a Bachelor’s degree in four consecutive years (which requires completion of the equivalent of 30 credits each academic year).

You must reapply to be qualified for an Excelsior Scholarship for the remaining duration of your undergraduate degree program if you complete extra credits during a session or academic season and get back on track to finishing your degree on time.

Programs for Opportunities

Suppose you are enrolled in an opportunity program. In that case, you have five years to finish your degree on time with the Excelsior Scholarship program (which calls for completing the equivalent of 24 credits each academic year).

Five-Year Undergraduate Programs

The Excelsior Scholarship program gives you five years to finish your undergraduate degree on time if you are enrolled in a course of study that ordinarily takes five years (you must complete the equivalent of 30 credits per academic year).

How to Apply For The Excelsior Scholarship Program

Before applying for the Excelsior Scholarship, students applying for the first time for NYS financial aid under the terms of the DREAM Act must first determine their eligibility under the NYS DREAM Act.

If you already met the requirements of the NYS DREAM Act, you only need to submit a new application to be considered for the Excelsior Scholarship.

Scholarship Link

The QuestBridge National Scholarship is now open; details here: The QuestBridge National College Match Application: How It Works, Who Should Apply, Dates And Deadlines, How To Apply.

Application Deadline 

The deadline for the scholarship is February 9.

Tips to Win The Excelsior Scholarship Program

Alright, let’s get down to business. The Excelsior Scholarship program is a fantastic opportunity that can make a real difference in your educational journey. Here are some key steps to give you the edge:

#1. Ace Your Academics

First things first, your grades matter. The Excelsior Scholarship is often awarded to students with a strong academic track record. So, keep your focus on your studies and aim for excellence.

#2. Stay Informed

Knowledge is power, my friend. Ensure you understand all the ins and outs of the Excelsior Scholarship program. Stay updated on deadlines, requirements, and any changes that might occur.

#3. Meet Eligibility Criteria

Ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria before you apply. These might include residency requirements, income thresholds, and credit completion targets. Double-check and tick off those boxes.

#4. Gather Required Documents

Get all your documents in order. This could include tax information, transcripts, and any other paperwork the application requires. Being organized can save you a lot of last-minute stress.

#5. Craft a Standout Application

Your application is your chance to shine. Write a compelling personal statement highlighting your achievements, aspirations, and why the Excelsior Scholarship would be a game-changer.

#6. Financial Aid Awareness

Familiarize yourself with other financial aid options. Sometimes, combining the Excelsior Scholarship with other grants or scholarships can help cover all your costs.

#7. Apply Early

The early bird catches the worm, as they say. Submit your application well before the deadline to avoid any last-minute technical glitches or unexpected delays.

#8. Maintain Progress

If you secure the Excelsior Scholarship, ensure you stay on track. Many scholarships have certain academic or credit requirements to continue receiving the benefits. Keep up your good work.

#9. Seek Guidance

Don’t hesitate to reach out for guidance. Your school’s financial aid office can be a treasure trove of information and support. They’re there to help you navigate the process.

#10. Stay Persistent

The road to success can have a few bumps. Don’t give up if you don’t get the scholarship on your first try. Keep working hard and exploring other opportunities.

So, armed with these tips, my friend, you’re well on your way to conquering the Excelsior Scholarship program. Stay focused, stay determined, and let your dedication shine through. Best of luck on this exciting journey! 🌟

FAQs on Excelsior Scholarship

How long do you have to stay in NY after Excelsior Scholarship?

When you stop receiving awards, you must move into a new residence. After receiving your final award money, you will have up to six months to move into New York State and meet the residency requirement. Additionally, you must work in New York State if you are employed during those years.

Do you have to apply for NYS Excelsior every year?

Excelsior Scholarship recipients must submit an annual application to receive funding. The specific program of study the student pursues should be the only course(s) that count toward the full-time enrollment requirement.


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