Home ยป Excelsior Scholarship | A Tuition Free Program for Students 2024

Are you interested in getting the Excelsior scholarship? Then you are surely at the right place. One key piece of information that students miss is how much information they know regarding the scholarship because that will give you an advantage. Read on as we show you what you need to know regarding this scholarship.

Excelsior Scholarship

Excelsior Scholarship

The Excelsior Scholarship, when combined with additional student financial aid initiatives, enables students to pursue higher education at a SUNY or CUNY college without paying tuition.

This program specifically covers tuition expenses for qualifying SUNY and CUNY students. In the academic year 2024-25, families with an income of $125,000 or less in the 2023 tax year are eligible to submit applications.


Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship, an individual must:

1. Reside in New York State (NYS) for a continuous 12-month period leading up to the start of the term.

2. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.

3. Have graduated from a U.S. high school, obtained a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test, as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department.

4. Maintain a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less.

5. Be actively pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college, which includes community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University.

6. Enroll in a minimum of 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits annually, relevant to the degree program, through continuous study without breaks in enrollment, except for documented reasons.

7. If attended college before the 2024-25 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits annually, relevant to the degree program, prior to applying for the Excelsior Scholarship.

8. Maintain a non-default status on any student loan from NYS or federal education loan program and adhere to the repayment terms of any NYS award.

9. Comply with the service condition(s) specified by any previously received NYS award.

10. Sign a contract committing to reside in NYS for the duration of the award and, if employed during that period, work in NYS.

Award Amount

The Excelsior Scholarship addresses the remaining gap in tuition costs, supplementing other federal and state grants and scholarships applied, up to $5,500.

To calculate the award, the initial tuition rate is reduced by the total amount granted from other financial aid sources for the academic year, including awards from the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and/or the federal Pell Grant.

The Excelsior Scholarship then covers any outstanding tuition expenses, up to the maximum of $5,500. In cases where tuition costs exceed the total financial aid received by a recipient, a tuition credit will be applied to cover the remaining balance.

How to Apply

This application is intended for current students and individuals commencing college in spring 2024. If you are planning to begin college in the fall 2024 term, please refrain from filling out this application.

The application for the 2024-2025 Excelsior program will become available in late spring. Current Excelsior recipients are not required to complete this application.


Application Deadline

The application deadline for this scholarship is February 2nd, 2024 at midnight.

Note: Receiving any award payment may result in tax implications. For inquiries regarding this matter, please consult with a tax professional, contact the Internal Revenue Service, or reach out to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

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