New York State Tuition Free Degree Program Excelsior Scholarship

Starting Fall 2017, New York State residents will be able college attend State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) institutions, including community colleges tuition free through the State’s Excelsior Scholarship Program 

This first-in-the-nation program will be available to families and independent students making an annual income of less than:

  • $100,000 for Fall 2017;
  • $ 110,000 for Fall 2018; and
  • $125,000 for Fall 2019, onwards.

If you are a New York resident seeking to take advantage of this free-tuition program, here are the other components of the program you should be aware of.

Enrollment Requirments

Students must enroll full-time and complete at least 30 credits per year.

There is an option for a student facing hardships to receive flexibility, and take fewer credits one semester or stop and restart enrollment.

Academic Requirments

The student benefiting from free-tuition will be required to maintain the minimum acceptable GPA required for successful completion of their chosen degree program.

Post-Graduation Requirments

Graduates who receive the free tuition benefit will be required to live and work in New York State, for the same number of years that they received the benefit.

There are exceptions to this requirement in cases where a student goes out-of-state to continue undergraduate studies, attend graduate school or due to an extreme hardship.

Fees, Housing and Other College related Expenses

Students who benefit from the New York State’s tuition-free scholarship will still be responsible for fees, living and transportation costs, books and other related expenses.

Based on these preliminary details of the Excelsior Scholarship Program, families and individuals meeting the requirements will have a great chance to minimize college costs and avoid student loan debt.

If you plan to take advantage of this program, it’s important to understand that you need to meet all the program requirements and make a financial plan to pay for the related expenses not covered by the program with other scholarships, part-time employment, college savings plans or family contributions.

I hope you find this information helpful!.

~Melisa Boutin


Are you a NY prospective or current college student? Download this post as a guide to the Free-Tuition Scholarship!
New York Free-Tuition Excelsior Scholarship Progrma
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