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Excelsior Scholarship

SUNY Schenectady students are eligible to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship. 

The Excelsior Scholarship Application is currently open. Visit the Excelsior Scholarship website to complete the application. 


The Excelsior Scholarship is the state aid program approved under former Governor Cuomo’s Free-Tuition Plan. Important facts about the Excelsior Scholarship:

  • The Excelsior Scholarship is a “last dollar” award. This means that students must first apply for FAFSA and TAP. The Excelsior Scholarship will then cover the remaining balance of tuition after Pell, TAP and other grants, scholarships or other gift-aid for eligible students, up to $5,500. For complete instructions on how to apply for FAFSA and TAP please click here: Apply for Aid
  • Students will need to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship. The Excelsior Scholarship application is currently open. Visit the Excelsior Scholarship website to apply. Application deadline: August 31, 2023 at midnight.
  • Excelsior Scholarship eligibility requirements:
    • be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
    • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
    • have either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test, as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
    • have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less;
    • be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University;
    • be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program through continuous study with no break in enrollment except for certain reasons that can be documented;
    • if attended college prior to the 2022-23 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program prior to applying for an Excelsior Scholarship;
    • be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award;
    • be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by any NYS award that you have previously received; and
    • execute a Contract agreeing to reside in NYS for the length of time the award was received, and, if employed during such time, be employed in NYS.

SUNY Schenectady recognizes that the Excelsior Scholarship is a valuable tool that will aid many New York State residents and we are committed to sharing the most up-to-date information that is available with our students. Please visit the two links below for a valuable Question and Answer platform that is hosted the SUNY and HESC.

SUNY Excelsior Scholarship Q & A

HESC Excelsior Scholarship Q & A


The SUNY Schenectady Financial Aid Office is happy to answer questions the best they can with the knowledge that is currently available. Please feel free to contact with any questions or comments.


HESC has produced detailed
guidelines for applying
for the Excelsior Scholarship.

Academic Eligibility

Find out more about the academic eligibility requirements for the Excelsior Scholarship.