The Excelsior scholarship program intends to help middle-class families pay for college, promote on-time graduation, and reduce student debt. The Excelsior Scholarship pays any remaining tuition charges after the student’s other grants and scholarships have been applied.
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 apply 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.
The Fall 2023 Excelsior Scholarship application will be available until August 31, 2023!
If you previously received an Excelsior award, no additional action is needed.
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 are in accordance with the following chart:
|Year Completed||Regular Students||EOP Students|
► Dependent Students: New York State will add the student's federal adjusted gross income (AGI) with their parent's federal AGI to determine the "Combined AGI" amount.
► Independent Students: New York State will add the student's federal adjusted gross income (AGI) with their spouse's (if applicable) federal AGI to determine the "Combined AGI" amount.
► 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. 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||Amount per Semester|
|NYS TAP Grant||$250.00|
|SUNY Tuition Credit||$73.00|
|Federal Pell Grant||$299.00|
|Muriel Howard Honors Scholarship||$1,250.00|
|Lion's Club Scholarship from High school||$500.00|
|Total Grants and Scholarships||$2,372.00|
|Fall 2023 Expected Tuition Charge||$3,535.00|
|Excelsior Scholarship Amount
[Tuition - Grants and Schol: $3,535 - $2,372]
If a student fails to meet the annual credit or continuous enrollment requirements for the Excelsior Scholarship, they will lose eligibility for the scholarship permanently. There is an extremely limited appeal process based on the following conditions:
Students who have previously received Excelsior must apply for the appeal with the Buffalo State Excelsior appeal application. Students who have never had Excelsior must appeal directly with New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.
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