Study in USA: Excelsior Scholarship [How To Apply]

Excelsior Scholarship

Excelsior Scholarship 

The Excelsior Scholarship Program gives tuition awards only to qualified students going to New York State’s public universities and colleges (SUNY and CUNY).

This scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, permits students to go to a SUNY college tuition-free.

The Excelsior Scholarship applies to tuition only and does not cover the other costs of college. so, in this article, decided to share everything you need to know about the Excelsior Scholarship Program, including Requirements, Eligibility, Duration, Benefits, and how you can Apply.

Excelsior Scholarship Requirements, an Applicant Must:

  • Be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months before 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, (includes statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University);
  • Be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term applicable toward your degree program and earn at least 30 credits each year, applicable toward your degree program;
  • If attended college before the academic year for which an award is sought, have earned at least 30 credits each year (continuously enrolled), applicable toward your degree program before 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;
  • Comply with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by an 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.
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Opportunity Programs

If you are in the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP), the Excelsior Scholarship program permits five years to finish your degree on time (which requires completion of equivalent to 24 credits every academic year). See your EOP Advisor for more information.

Excelsior Scholarship Amount

The Excelsior Scholarship covers any excess gap in tuition expenses after other Federal Government and state awards and scholarships are applied, up to $5,500.

To decide the Award amount, the tuition cost rate* charged is first reduced by the total amount of dollars granted from other student financial guide awards for the academic year, including a NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Award as well as government Pell Grants.

The Excelsior Scholarship covers any excess tuition expenses costs up to $5,500. In cases where tuition expenses costs surpass the total financial guide a beneficiary is granted, a tuition cost credit will be applied to the remaining balance.

Eligibility Review

Students whose current income or prior year adjusted gross income is $125,000 or below due to the disability, divorce, or separation of a parent, spouse, or the student or the death of a parent or spouse may request a review of their eligibility by completing the Income Eligibility Determination Form and uploading HERE.

Students who do not meet the annual credit or continuous enrollment requirements due to one of the conditions indicated below may be able to retain their Excelsior Scholarship awards by completing the Excelsior Scholarship Program Form and uploading HERE.

You may be eligible to retain your award under the following conditions:

  • You experience the death of an immediate family member
  • You are called to active military duty
  • You interrupt your studies to take care of your newborn child (parental leave)
  • Your medical or health care provider determines that your medical condition or mental health prevents you from beginning or continuing the term or from continuing a full-time course load.
  • You interrupt your studies to care for an immediate family member, whose medical or health care provider has determined to need additional support or care, which impacts your ability to begin or continue the term or from continuing a full-time course load.
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Please be aware that other circumstances other than those indicated above may not allow you to retain your award under State laws and regulations.


A beneficiary of an Excelsior Scholarship is qualified to get Award payments for not more than two years of full-time undergraduate study in a program prompting a partner’s degree or four years of full-time undergraduate study, or five years in the program of study which requires five years, in a program leading to a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Excelsior Scholarship Application – How to Apply

Interested applicants should visit their official website to apply for Excelsior Scholarship Program also for more information about the Excelsior scholarship kindly visit their official website.

To receive award payments after the initial application year, an Excelsior Scholarship recipient must annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the NYS Student Aid Payment Application each year.

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