Excelsior Scholarship

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature enacted the Excelsior Scholarship program, which is administered by the Higher Education Services Corporation. Below is information provided by the Governor's office about the program's application, which is now available:

The Excelsior Scholarship makes New York State public universities tuition-free for families making up to $125,000 per year once fully phased in. The scholarship is available to students attending a SUNY or CUNY school starting this fall whose families make up to $100,000. It will extend to families making up to $125,000 annually by 2019.

More than 940,000 middle-class families across New York State will be eligible for the Scholarship, and the requirements are simple. In order to apply, students must:

  • Be residents of New York State
  • Plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year degree program
  • Take 30 credits per year and make progress towards graduation
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Be on track to graduate on time with an Associate's Degree in two years or a Bachelor's Degree in four years

Click Here to Complete the Application. The application is open until July 21.

You will be asked to upload your financial information. If you have any issues, the contact information is:

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), NYS Grants and Scholarships

1-888-NYSHESC (1-888-697-4372) toll free or 1-518-473-1574 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. If you have an account number, please have it ready.

Reach HESC electronically at Please be prepared to include the student’s name, date of birth, and the last four digits of his or her social security number.


What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that ALL schools require. The federal government uses it to determine your eligibility for federal aid, which includes grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. We STRONGLY recommend filling the FAFSA out online as it is much faster and easier to catch mistakes.

CSS Profile

What is the CSS Profile?

The CSS profile is required by many private colleges and universities to determine your eligibility for non-governmental financial aid, such as the college's own grants, loans and scholarships. It is administered by the College Scholarship Service, hence CSS.

NYS Opportunity Programs

About the Programs

All of these programs are for students who do not meet the academic requirements of the school they are applying to and are economically disadvantaged. Each school varies in what scores may be admissible and what the financial requirements are. The application process may also vary, therefore it is the students' responsibility to find out from each school they are applying to what the process is.