New York State Scholarships

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).

Excelsior Scholarship eligibility

  • The Excelsior Scholarship is available to New York state residents who, to qualify for the 2019-20 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

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, including  TAP/SUNY Tuition Credit award and/or the federal Pell grant.
  • The Excelsior Scholarship will credit your semester bill and is certified at the end of each semester based on the successful completion of credit requirements.
  • 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 (insert link for SSD office).
  • 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 residence 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

*Note: “Interest in” will not meet the eligibility requirement. You must be declared in the major to maintain eligibility

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 that is calculated at the end of the semester.
  • 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:

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.