In April, the Assembly approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to provide free college education for in-state students attending a SUNY or CUNY, state or city university of New York. New York students began applying last Wednesday, June 7, with 3,000 applications submitted on the first day.
Students can continue to apply for over a month until the application closes after July 21, and can expect to know within a week of applying whether they were accepted. 200,000 students are estimated to be eligible recipients when "the program is fully implemented."
The Excelsior Scholarship is open to students from families with less than a $100,000 yearly income. Within three years, the requirements will allow for students with an income of $125,000.
A statement on New York State's website says,"today, college is what high school was -- It should always be an option for everyone.”
According to Patrick Lohmann on Upstate New York, since eligible applicants must take 30 credits a year and be on their way to graduating in four years, --or two, if completing an associate's degree -- part-time students do not qualify. However, this is with an exception that students who are 6 credits short can still apply this year in anticipation of the 2018-2019 school year with the understanding that they will complete the 6 needed to reach the requirement.
The purpose of the scholarship is to provide any remaining tuition after students have applied for other scholarships and grants. Lohman said, “students must have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the application for the Tuition Assistance Program.” The estimated cost of providing the scholarship, included in the state budget, is $163 million.
Upon graduation, recipients of the scholarship must live and work in New York for the same number of years they received the scholarship.