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SUNY and CUNY Students Whose Families Make Up to $125,000 Annually Can Apply for Tuition-Free College 

Applications Accepted Through February 9, 2023

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the application for the Excelsior Scholarship for new applicants for the Spring 2023 term is now open here. The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid, allows eligible full-time students to attend a SUNY or CUNY two-year or four-year college tuition-free.

“Since its inception, the Excelsior Scholarship has enabled tens of thousands of students from low and middle-income families the chance to pursue a quality education tuition-free,” Governor Hochul said. “By easing the financial burden associated with the cost of attending college, students and their families can focus on their education, providing New York’s students every possible opportunity to climb the ladder of success.”

Students from households with federal adjusted gross incomes up to $125,000 are eligible for a Spring Excelsior Scholarship award. Students must also:

  • 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); and
  • Be on track to graduate with an Associate’s Degree in two years or a Bachelor’s Degree in four years

Dr. Guillermo Linares, President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation said, “The cost to attend college is often a barrier for students from low and middle-income families who wish to experience the benefits that come from earning a postsecondary degree or credential.The Excelsior Scholarship offers the opportunity for students who, without financial support, could not readily afford to purse a college degree.”

SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, “The data clearly shows that a college degree is the most effective tool for upward mobility – boosting earning power, expanding career opportunities, and even lengthening your life. Yet that experience remains out of reach for far too many. The Excelsior Scholarship helps address the college affordability problem, reinforcing SUNY’s longstanding commitment to delivering a world-class education by eliminating financial barriers for hardworking students from across the state. I applaud Governor Hochul’s ongoing efforts to help more New Yorkers earn and benefit from a SUNY education.”

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “The Excelsior Scholarship program has aided CUNY’s efforts to expand educational opportunity and access for New Yorkers of all backgrounds. Excelsior has given thousands of CUNY students the opportunity to attend college tuition-free, opening the door to educational achievement, career success and, ultimately, economic and social advancement. We thank Governor Hochul for her continued recognition of the unmatched value and importance of higher education for all New Yorkers.”

The Excelsior Scholarship is just one of the many ways New York State makes college affordable and accessible. Check out the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation website to explore other options available to help pay for college.

The Spring 2023 Excelsior Scholarship application is open to first-time students entering college in the Spring 2023 term and current college students who have never received the Excelsior Scholarship. Students currently receiving an Excelsior Scholarship do not need to complete this application to receive continued award payments. Students eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship under the Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act can apply here.

Applications will be accepted through February 9, 2023.