Students at Buffalo State College sitting in a stadium style lecture class.
Excelsior Scholarship

The Excelsior Scholarship is Leading the Way to College Affordability

The Excelsior Scholarship provides tuition awards to eligible students attending New York State's public colleges and universities (SUNY and CUNY). This scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY college tuition-free.

Excelsior Scholarship Application Now Available

The Excelsior Scholarship applies to tuition only and does not cover the other costs of college. To learn more about other college expenses such as fees, room and board, textbooks, and more, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

Deadline to apply for Fall 2019  is  August 15, 2019.

For students who received an award for the previous academic year, no additional action is needed for the 2019-20 academic year.

To meet eligibility requirements, an applicant must:

To learn more about the eligibility requirements and to apply for the Excelsior scholarship go to:

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am interested in the scholarship, what are my next steps?
  1. File your FAFSA at
  2. Continue to the NYS TAP application and complete.
  3. Apply for the Excelsior Scholarship at
How do other forms of scholarships and financial aid affect the Excelsior Scholarship?

If you receive a federal or NYS grant or scholarship, including a federal Pell Grant, a NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grant or scholarships for tuition or not designated for other costs, you must use those first. After those forms of aid are applied, the Excelsior Scholarship will cover the remaining cost of tuition.

What about other expenses such as books, etc.?

The Excelsior Scholarship covers tuition only. You would be responsible for college fees and other costs such as room and board.

What about credits earned in high school?

Credits earned in high school may count toward the combined annual thirty credits if they are accepted toward the student's program of study. For more information, speak with campus Admissions or Financial Aid.

What if I don't earn 30 credit hours toward my degree?

Eligibility will be reviewed every semester. If you do not earn 30 credit hours each year you will lose the Excelsior Scholarship and may not be able to reinstate it.

Do I need a certain grade point average to get or keep the award?

You need to meet campus academic requirements for passing and earning credit toward your degree to maintain your Excelsior Scholarship.

What if I decide to move out of New York State after I graduate?

After graduation, you must live and be employed (if working) in New York State for the number of years you received the scholarship. If you do not meet the residency requirement, it becomes a no-interest loan which you will then be required to pay back.

Is this a scholarship or a loan?

This is a scholarship. However, the scholarship converts to a loan when a student does not fulfill the residency requirement. The scholarship does not revert to a loan if the student becomes ineligible and loses the scholarship while continuing their undergraduate work prior to graduation. If the scholarship reverts to a loan, that loan will not accrue interest.

If I complete my associate degree, can I receive this award to get my bachelor's degree?

Yes, provided the college that you attend accepts all of the credits you earned in completing your associate degree, and you meet all other requirements for the Excelsior Scholarship. You must also be continuously enrolled from the associate degree program to the bachelor's degree program, unless you have an approved interruption in enrollment.

Will any exceptions be made for part-time students or those with disabilities?

Yes. As with the TAP grants, students with disabilities will not be required to register full-time to be eligible for the scholarship.

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