ALBANY – Applications to the State University of New York system have increased by 10 percent and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo credits the Excelsior Scholarship offering free tuition.
“The Excelsior Scholarship opens the door to higher education and a brighter economic future, and this increase in applications is proof positive that students are seizing this unprecedented opportunity,” Cumo said.
In Fall 2017, 66,770 full-time freshman enrolled at SUNY, among which 61.8 percent, or 41,282 students, took 15 credits or more. This is an increase of nearly 11 percent from the 37,270 full-time freshman who took 15 credits or more in Fall 2016.
In the 2018-19 academic year, New Yorkers with household incomes up to $110,000 are now eligible to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship, reaching $125,000 in 2019-20. Students must be enrolled in college full-time and complete 30 credits per year, with flexibility to complete courses during summer and winter semesters. The program is designed to work for students, allowing New Yorkers facing hardship to pause and restart the program, and all recipients can take fewer credits one semester than another in completing 30 credits per year. With the addition of the 23,000 students attending college tuition free under Excelsior; New York has over 53 percent, or 210,000, of our full-time New York students going to college tuition-free.
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.