The Excelsior Scholarship
Undergraduates may apply for the Excelsior scholarship for the fall and spring semesters, and may receive an award for up to four years of study (eight semesters). The eight semesters are based on when a student starts college, not when a student begins receiving a payment.
Excelsior Scholarship eligibility
- The Excelsior Scholarship is available to New York state residents who, to qualify for the 2023-24 aid year, must have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less.
- In order to maintain eligibility, students are required to be enrolled in 12 degree applicable credits per term and complete at least 30 degree applicable credits each year.
- Students and families are strongly encouraged to read and understand all of the regulations associated with the Excelsior Scholarship eligibility requirements. To review all eligibility requirements, visit the HESC Excelsior Scholarship webpage
How to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship
- The 2023-24 Excelsior Scholarship fall semester application is now open. For more information, visit NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC)
- Current recipients do not need to complete a new application but must complete the NYS Student Aid Payment (TAP) application each year. If you do not complete the TAP application for the 2023-24 academic year, HESC will not send the Excelsior award regardless of Excelsior eligibility.
- Recipients must also complete income verification with HESC to receive their award. You can complete this by submitting the Income Questionnaire in your HESC portal.
Timeline for application and posting of award
- The Excelsior Scholarship application is usually open two times per academic year. The first application is for the full academic year and will open between April and July prior to the start of the fall semester. That application will close at the end of August. The second application is for the spring semester and opens between December and January and closes at the end of January.
- Once the application is submitted, HESC will determine if the student needs a credit verification from Binghamton University. This is to determine the student's first semester in college and whether the student has met the 15 credits per semester requirement. The is usually not required if the upcoming semester is the student's first college semester.
- After the credit verification is processed, HESC will send the applicant the Excelsior Scholarship Contract to sign. This is communicated through the email associated with the TAP application. Student can also access the contract through the "Student Access" portal on hesc.ny.gov.
- Awards are posted every Friday starting mid-July.
- Excelsior Scholarship awards will credit the student's account once received from HESC, until certification. Certification occurs at the end of each semester.
- After certification, the Excelsior Scholarship will disburse. If a refund is generated as a result of disbursement, the refund will go directly to the student based on student refund preference.
How does the Excelsior Scholarship work?
- If all initial eligibility requirements are met, you'll receive an Excelsior Scholarship award up to the cost of tuition, minus other grants and scholarships that can be applied towards tuition, including TAP/SUNY Tuition Credit award and/or the federal Pell Grant.
- Your course selection will be periodically reviewed to verify Excelsior Scholarship eligibility. If we find you are not in compliance with the regulations, we notify you and ask you to make adjustments to your schedule during an open registration period.
- If your Excelsior Scholarship award is not certified, you will be notified with the reason. You will also no longer receive credit on your bill for the Excelsior Scholarship, which will create an account balance. Contact Student Accounts to resolve any outstanding balance that may have resulted.
The Excelsior Scholarship and students with disabilities
- Students with qualified disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 who attend less than full-time may still be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship.
- If you have specific questions about disability services, contact Student Services Disabilities.
- For specific information on eligibility requirements for students under the Americans with Disabilities Act, visit the HESC webpage
New York State STEM Incentive Program
The NYS STEM Incentive Program provides tuition awards to students who are New York state residents attending a university located in New York state. Recipients must be in the top 10 percent of students of their high school graduating class, pursue an approved STEM program and agree to live in NYS and work in a STEM field in NYS for five years after graduation (hesc.ny.gov). For more specific information about NYS STEM, visit the HESC webpage.
NYS STEM eligibility
- You must be pursuing a degree in an approved STEM major/program and be enrolled full-time. Explore approved STEM programs offered at Binghamton University.
*Note: “Interest in” will not meet the eligibility requirement. You must be declared in the major to maintain eligibility
- Meet degree applicable credit requirements.
- You must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher each term after your first semester.
How to apply for the NYS STEM Incentive Program
- First year recipients must complete the NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program Application with HESC
- Once initially approved for the STEM program, students must complete the NYS Aid Student Payment Application (TAP application) each year they wish to receive payment for the award.
How does the NYS STEM Incentive Program work?
- NYS STEM is awarded for the academic year, but is certified every semester based on meeting eligibility requirements, including the cumulative GPA of 2.5 that is calculated at the end of the semester and complete 12 degree-applicable credits.
- Your course selection will be periodically reviewed to verify NYS STEM eligibility. If we find you are not in compliance with the regulations, we will notify you and ask you to make adjustments to your schedule during an open registration period.
- Every semester, NYS STEM will show as a credit on the bill, viewable on QuikPay. However, in order for the NYS STEM funds to pay, your eligibility must be certified by the institution at the end of every semester.
- If your NYS STEM is certified and you are owed a refund, you will receive an e-mail from Student Accounts indicating that your NYS STEM funds have been received and your refund is available. Students are not refunded for NYS STEM until certification occurs at the end of each semester.
- If your NYS STEM is not certified, you will be notified. You will also no longer receive credit on your bill for STEM, which may create an account balance. If you have questions regarding why you were decertified, please contact our office. Otherwise, you will have to contact Student Accounts to resolve any outstanding account balance that may have resulted. Students who lost eligibility in one semester may regain eligibility in the subsequent semester.
New York state scholarships
New York state students may be eligible for a variety of scholarship and award programs to help pay for college.
There are several types of New York state scholarships and awards administered by Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) and the New York State Education Department:
- Masters in Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship
- Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers and Emergency Medical Service Workers
- NY-AIMS Scholarship(available to 2016-17 applicants only)
- NYS Excelsior Scholarship
- NYS Scholarship for Academic Excellence
- NYS STEM Incentive Program(View Eligible Majors)
- Regents Award for Child of Deceased or Disabled Veterans
- Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program
- Veterans Tuition Awards
- World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship
New York state scholarships, such as the World Trade Center Scholarship, must also be certified each semester.
Once certified, New York state scholarships will disburse around the same time as other New York state aid, typically around the 6th week of classes. If you are owed a refund, you'll receive an email from Student Accounts indicating that your New York state scholarship funds have been received and your refund is available. Alternatively, students who lose their scholarship eligibility will be notified.
If you have been awarded one of the above scholarships, you must complete the New York State Student Aid Payment Application. This application must be completed for every year in which you wish to receive payment for a New York state scholarship and/or award.