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Excelsior Scholarship

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


The Excelsior Scholarship is the state aid program approved under 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. 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 close. Visit the Excelsior Scholarship website to learn more about the dates the application will open for fall.
    • Excelsior Scholarship eligibility requirements:
      • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident. 
      • Must be a NYS Resident with a family household adjusted gross income of
          • $125,000 or less for the 2019-2020 award year.
      • Must attend a SUNY or CUNY college; SUNY Schenectady is a member institution.
      • The maximum last-dollar award of $5,500 per year is meant to cover tuition only.
      • The first eligible semester is Fall 2017.
      • Students must be able to graduate “on-time.” This means students must complete their two-year degree in two years or less, they must complete 30 academic credits per year, and successfully complete a minimum of 12 credits per fall and spring semester.  Summer and winter sessions can be used to meet the 30 credit requirement.
      • College credits earned in high school or prior to college matriculation can be applied towards the 30 credit per year requirement and be “banked” throughout the student’s studies.
      • Students approved through the Office of ADA Transition Services are not subject to the 12 credits per semester and 30 credit per year requirement.
      • A student must be continuously enrolled to remain eligible from one semester to the next. Allowable interruptions are for limited special circumstances.
      • A recipient of the Excelsior Scholarship must reside in New York State for the number of years equal to the award received. For example, if a student receives the awards for two years they must live in NYS for two years after college.


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
Read them here.

Academic Eligibility

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