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Excelsior Scholarship application portal opens up: Free tuition for most families at SUNY schools

The Excelsior Scholarship application portal for prospective college students is open.

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,” Governor 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
  • Recipients must also plan to live in New York State for the length of time they received the award.

“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,” SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said.

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.



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