Excelsior scholarship details revealed

Tea’ Claus
Staff Writer

Excelsior Scholarship presents possible challenges for community colleges. Courtesy of SUNY.edu

Excelsior Scholarship presents possible challenges for community colleges.

On April 10, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of the Excelsior Scholarship, allowing for families earning less than $125,000 a year to receive free tuition to all SUNY and CUNY schools.

The scholarship will not include those whose families make less than $125,000 until 2019, as the scholarship is being implemented in steps. It begins at $100,000 in 2017, increases to $110,000 in 2018 and finally ends at $125,000 in 2019.

New York is the first state to implement this type of program, which is meant to help with the different forms of financial assistance New York already has in place.

The program is expected to help 940,000 families in New York who have children enrolled in a SUNY or CUNY school. The program, however, does not cover tuition to graduate schools.

“By making college at our world-class public universities tuition-free, we have established a national model for access to higher education and achieved another New York first,” said Cuomo.

The program doesn’t include housing, food, transportation, textbooks and more. The scholarship program does, however, include a portion for bonuses like e-books.
Certain requirements must be met for students to receive free tuition. Requirements mandate that students must be a full time students, must average around 30 credits per year and must maintain a certain GPA.

The scholarship also accommodates students taking classes online, so long as they meet the same requirements set for on-campus students.

One of the biggest requirements for this program is that the student must live and work in New York for the same amount of time you received the scholarship. If a student moves out of the state before their time is complete, the scholarship turns into a student loan.

The program was also made to be paused and restarted by students. A student who has a hardship, or takes less credits in a semester than they would in another can restart the program to receive their free tuition.

The scholarship does not cover pay for students looking to obtain another associate or bachelor’s degree after already completing one. According to the HESC website, students with an associate degree pursuing a bachelor’s degree can receive the scholarship.

Students can transfer to another SUNY school and still receive the scholarship. According to the HESC website, “A student who transferred between colleges is eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship if they are on track to complete on time, based on the number of credits accepted by their current college.”

Students can start applying for this scholarship in late May, and the program should begin in the fall.

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