College tuition along with fees and associated expenses have always been a huge investment, and has obviously become even more costly over the years, with just about everything else in the world these days.

A program that breaks down cost barriers, enabling New York State residents to expand their education by attending SUNY and CUNY schools, has opened applications for the spring 2024 semester. The Excelsior Program allows SUNY and CUNY students who meet certain guidelines to apply for 'tuition-free college.'

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Governor Hochul Announces Excelsior Scholarship Applications for Spring 2024

Now through February 2, 2024, submissions are being accepted for new applicants for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship. Governor Hochul shared that in order to be eligible for the scholarship award, students must meet the following criteria:

  • come from households with federal adjusted gross incomes up to $125,000 are eligible for a Spring Excelsior Scholarship award
  • 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 with an associate degree in two years or a bachelor's degree in four years.  
Allard1 / ThinkstockPhotos
Allard1 / ThinkstockPhotos

The Excelsior Scholarship is a game changer for students across New York State who might not have the financial means to pursue higher education. This program is making college more affordable and accessible for low- and middle-income families, giving them the opportunity to obtain their college degree. By investing in our future workforce, we are investing in our economy and ensuring a strong and prosperous future for all New Yorkers.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul Holds Covid-19 Update
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How Can Someone Apply For The Excelsior Scholarship Program? 

If a student has already applied for, or currently receives Excelsior Scholarship money, they do not need to reapply to continue receiving award payments.

For first-time students who are entering college during the Spring 2024 semester, or, current students who have never received funding through the Excelsior Scholarship, applications are currently open through February 2nd.

The Governor's Office has shared that in 2022, 58% of full-time (NY) resident undergraduate students attended SUNY and CUNY schools tuition-free, which can be broken down to 53% at SUNY campuses and 67% at CUNY. In total, New York State financial aid that includes Tuition Assistance Programs (TAP) and Excelsior, more than 180,000 residents have benefitted from funding.   

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