Governor Andrew Cuomo says that approximately 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students, more than 210,000 New York residents, are going to school tuition-free thanks to the addition of students receiving the Excelsior Scholarship. Nearly 22,000 students will be getting that new scholarship.
The Excelsior Scholarship provides cost-free tuition at New York's public colleges and universities. Students are required to maintain a grade point average necessary for the successful completion of their coursework, and recipients will be required to live and work in-state after graduation for a duration equal to the number of years an Excelsior Scholarship was received.
Students are still responsible for other costs, including room and board, books and fees.
"A college degree now is what a high school diploma was 30 years ago - it is essential to succeed in today's economy. Our first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship is designed so more New Yorkers go to college tuition-free and receive the education they deserve to reach their full potential," Cuomo said in a statement released on Sunday.
According to his office, approximately 45,000 students have been determined eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship and will attend SUNY or CUNY tuition-free this year, including more than 23,000 who will have their tuition covered through TAP, Pell and other financial aid, and nearly 22,000 who will have their remaining tuition costs covered by the Excelsior Scholarship.
Cuomo says the number of scholarship recipients, approximately 22,000 students, aligns with the state's initial projections for year one of the first-in-the- nation program.
The statement also says that the number of students eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship will rise each year until fully implemented and, as there are still more than 6,000 applications pending final approval, the number of award recipients for this year is expected to rise.
The Excelsior Scholarship is being phased in over three years. For the 2017-18 academic year New Yorkers with household incomes up to $100,000 are eligible, increasing to $110,000 in 2018-19, and reaching $125,000 in 2019-20. Students must be enrolled in college full-time and complete 30 credits per year (including Summer and January semesters) in order to receive the funding.
Any student facing hardship is able to pause and restart the program, and all recipients can take fewer credits one semester than another in completing 30 credits per year.
Students are required to maintain a grade point average necessary for the successful completion of their coursework, and recipients will be required to live and work in-state after graduation for a duration equal to the number of years an Excelsior Scholarship was received.