Governor Hochul Announces Excelsior Scholarship Application Open for New Applicants for Spring 2024

December 19, 2023

From the office of Governor Hochul

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

Applications Accepted Through February 2, 2024

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the application for the Excelsior Scholarship for new applicants for the Spring 2024 term is now open here. Students eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship under the Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act can apply 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.

“The Excelsior Scholarship is a game changer for students across New York State who might not have the financial means to pursue higher education," Governor Hochul said. “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."

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 degree in two years or a bachelor's degree in four years.  

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation President Dr. Guillermo Linares said, "I applaud Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to expanding access to education and ensuring that every student has the opportunity to obtain a college degree. With this program's continued implementation, we are breaking down barriers so more low and middle-income students can benefit from a quality education, opening doors to more job opportunities, enhancing socioeconomic mobility, and fostering a more inclusive society."   

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, "There is a place at SUNY for everyone and every year, the Excelsior Scholarship, along with New York State's Tuition Assistance Program, help make college a reality for more New Yorkers. Excelsior and TAP contribute to help 53% of in-state SUNY students attend tuition-free, and so many SUNY students graduate with little to no debt. SUNY offers an exemplary education at a great value thanks to the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the legislators who so consistently champion this scholarship and others like it."

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "The Excelsior Scholarship has enabled thousands of CUNY students to attend college tuition-free. Since its inception, the program has become an important asset to our historical mission of opening doors to educational advancement, career success and upward mobility for New Yorkers of all backgrounds. We thank Governor Hochul for her continued support of the Excelsior program and urge all eligible students to apply for the scholarship."

New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “Eliminating barriers to higher education is vital to create an equitable playing field for all New Yorkers. The Excelsior Scholarship is another tool for students and families, making college more affordable and accessible, putting them on their best paths to success."

The Spring 2024 Excelsior Scholarship application is open to first-time students entering college in the Spring 2024 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.

New York’s generous investment in student financial aid, including TAP and Excelsior Scholarships, helped over 180,000 New York State residents. Fifty eight percent of full-time resident undergraduate students attended SUNY and CUNY tuition-free in 2022, including 53 percent at SUNY State-operated campuses and 67 percent at CUNY colleges.

Applications will be accepted through February 2, 2024. 

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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