Please Note: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reduced state revenues and the processing of new applications is pending on Federal assistance, which has been delayed since April. Excelsior Scholarship awards may have to be reduced and/or prioritized for current recipients as provided for under the program.
Current Excelsior Scholarship recipients should not complete another application. If you previously received an Excelsior award, no additional action is needed.
New York State's 2017 budget includes funding for a new scholarship program to help middle-class families pay for college. Named the Excelsior Scholarship, it pays any remaining tuition charges after the student’s other grants and scholarships have been applied. The scholarship program is designed to promote on-time graduation while reducing college loan debt.
Be advised that the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) has the authority to add requirements in order to effectively oversee the program
Students must complete an application for the Excelsior Scholarship. Students cannot submit the application until after their FAFSA and NYS applications are processed. Please allow 7-10 days for the FAFSA and NYS to process before completing the Excelsior application. Students should plan accordingly to ensure the Excelsior deadline is met.
Academic Requirements to Maintain Eligibility
At the end of each year, Buffalo State must certify that Excelsior-eligible students earned at least 30 credits (24 for EOP students) in the previous year. Additionally, Buffalo State must certify the student's cumulative (lifetime) earned credits is in accordance with the following chart:
|Year Completed||Regular Students||EOP Students|
► Dependent Students: New York State will sum the student's federal adjusted gross income (AGI) with his or her parent's federal AGI to determine the "Combined AGI" amount.
► Independent Students: New York State will sum the student's federal adjusted gross income (AGI) with his or her spouse's federal AGI to determine the "Combined AGI" amount. If the student is not married, the student's federal AGI is considered to be the "Combined AGI".
► Note: The federal government and New York State government have different rules pertaining to independence. To qualify as an independent student for TAP, review the Student Status section on HESC's website.
Combined Federal AGI Limit by Academic Year:
Excelsior rules are strict that students must be able to graduate within eight (8) semesters. The only exception is that students admitted through an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) are allowed ten (10) semesters.
Students that cannot complete their degree in eight semesters may lose eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship in their eighth semester. Students most at risk of this include:
Students that repeat courses they previously passed may need to earn more than 30 credits in an academic year to compensate for the course repeat. When a student repeats a course they passed, credit for the course is only issued once, which may mean the student is then deficient on their cumulative credits. Example:
Recipients of the Excelsior Scholarship must:
Below is an example of how to estimate the amount of an Excelsior Scholarship you may qualify for after considering all other grants and scholarships:
|Student's Grants and Scholarships for Fall 2017||Amount / Semester|
|NYS TAP Grant||$250.00|
|SUNY Tuition Credit||$73.00|
|Federal Pell Grant||$299.00|
|Buffalo State Provost Scholarship||$1,000.00|
|Lion's Club Scholarship from High school||$500.00|
|Total Grants and Scholarships||$2,122.00|
|Fall 2017 Expected Tuition Charge||$3,235.00|
|Excelsior Scholarship Amount
[Tuition - Grants and Schol: $3,235 - $2,122]
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