Cuomo: 53% of full-time SUNY, CUNY students get tuition covered through state scholarships, grants
About 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students, more than 210,000 New York residents, are going to school tuition-free through the Excelsior Scholarship, the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Pell and other scholarships, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
So far, 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 scholarship. Students who learned of their eligibility for TAP and Pell through the Excelsior Scholarship application process may have otherwise been unaware of their ability to qualify for cost-free tuition, according to Cuomo’s spokespeople.Excelsior Scholarship applicants who met the program's eligibility requirements received cost-free tuition. The number of recipients, approximately 22,000 students, aligns with the state's initial projections for year one of the program. 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. There are currently nearly 400,000 full-time in-state SUNY and CUNY students, Cuomo’s office said.
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. However, the program has built in flexibility so that 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, Cuomo’s office said.
Students are required to maintain a grade point average necessary for the successful completion of their coursework, and, as the program makes a major investment in the state's greatest asset - our young people - scholars 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, Cuomo’s office said.