SUNY, CUNY students whose families make up to $125,000 annually can apply for tuition-free college
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the application for the Excelsior Scholarship for new applicants for the 2021-22 academic school year is now open here.
The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other aid programs, allows eligible full-time students to attend a SUNY or CUNY two-year or four-year college tuition-free.
"Given the economic impact families are facing throughout our state, it is more important than ever that students have access to financial support that enables them to realize their dream of pursuing their education regardless of race, class or social status," Cuomo said. "The Excelsior Scholarship provides the financial resources for tens of thousands of students to receive a high-quality education in New York's world-class education system without the burden of worry or debt."
To be eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year, household federal adjusted gross income can total up to $125,000. Student must also meet the following eligibility requirements:
√ Plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY two or four-year college;
√ Complete 30 credits per year towards their program of study (including summer and winter terms);
√ Be on track to graduate on time with an associate's degree in two years or a Bachelor's Degree in four years; and
√ Recipients must also plan to live in New York for the length of time they received the award.
Dr. Guillermo Linares, president of the New York State Higher Education Services Corp., said, "I applaud Gov. Cuomo for his commitment to eliminate financial barriers and in helping to combat inequities in our education system. Valuable education programs, like the Excelsior Scholarship program, can provide the opportunity for students to pursue their educational goals without financial constraints and open the door to better opportunities for thousands."
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, "While relieved to finally restore some normalcy on our campuses this fall, the pandemic's financial impact on New York state families will reverberate for years to come. College access and affordability is more important today than ever. Individuals should not have to take on debilitating amounts of debt to pay for college, while their families suffer and try to recover from the economic repercussions COVID. The Excelsior Scholarship will give New Yorkers a real chance at attaining a world class education, achieving social mobility, and pursuing their dreams – regardless of how their lives and families were affected by COVID-19."
CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "The Excelsior Scholarship is an important component of the state's unparalleled portfolio of tuition assistance programs, including help for undocumented students who were denied assistance by the federal government under the previous White House administration. Gov. Cuomo's sustained commitment to preserving the financial assistance of the Excelsior Scholarship has been crucial to the academic success of college students at CUNY and throughout New York state in these times of unprecedented challenge."
The 2021-22 Excelsior Scholarship application is open to first-time students entering college in the fall 2021 and current college students who have never received the Excelsior Scholarship. Current Excelsior Scholarship recipients should not complete this application. Students eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship under the Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act can apply here.
Nearly 230,000 New York residents attend CUNY or SUNY tuition-free thanks to the addition of students receiving the Excelsior Scholarship.
Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31.