Eligibility & FAQs

HESC Excelsior Scholarship Fact Sheet (HESC)

HESC Excelsior Scholarship FAQs


Questions about applications, eligibility or denials, please contact the Scholarship Unit at scholarships@hesc.ny.gov or 888-697-4372.

Questions regarding your UAlbany financial aid award: Please see www.albany.edu/sfc.
New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC)


A. To be considered a NYS resident for purposes of receiving this award, you must have resided in the State for 12 continuous months prior to the term for which the award is being sought.

A. An Excelsior Scholarship recipient can receive up to $5,500 from the Excelsior Scholarship, minus any amounts received for TAP, Pell or other scholarships. The remainder of your tuition charge will be covered through a tuition credit paid through SUNY or CUNY.

A. Yes. Eligible students will receive awards to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition free this fall.

A. It is anticipated that the Excelsior Scholarship application will be available in late May.

A. For the 2017-18 academic year, your 2015 federal household adjusted gross income can total up to $100,000 to be eligible. For 2018-19, that amount increases to $110,000 (using 2016 AGI), and beginning in 2019-20 and beyond, your family’s adjusted gross income can total up to $125,000 (using 2017 AGI).

A. Yes. Students who are currently attending college are eligible to receive an award, provided they are currently on track to complete their degree on time.

A. You are eligible to get an award for up to two years for students pursuing an associate’s degree and up to four years for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Students in an undergraduate program of study normally requiring five years are eligible to receive the award for five years.

A. Award recipients need to earn a passing grade to maintain their Excelsior Scholarship awards, provided they earn a total of 30 credits over the course of a year.

Recipients should keep in mind that they may have other awards which also carry academic standards that differ from those required for the Excelsior Scholarship.

A. A student who transferred between colleges is eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship if they are on track to complete on time based on the number of credits accepted by their current college.

A. You can lose the scholarship if you do not continue to meet all eligibility requirements. For example, you must enroll in at least 12 credits per term and complete 30 credits per year to continue to receive the scholarship.

A. Yes, provided the college that you are attending accepted all of the credits you earned in completing your associate’s degree, and meet all other requirements for the Excelsior Scholarship.

A. Yes. You must live in New York State for the number of years equal to awards you received. For example, if you received four Excelsior Scholarship awards while getting your bachelor’s degree, you must live in New York State for four years after college. In addition, if you are working during those years, you must work in New York State.

Failure to meet these requirements will result in the conversion of your award to a loan.

A. Applicants who have an associate’s degree are eligible to pursue a bachelor’s degree. However, you may not receive an award to pursue a second associate’s or a second bachelor’s degree.

A. Yes, however when you complete your graduate program you must come back and work or reside in New York State.

A. Yes, you must complete the TAP application, the FAFSA, and the Excelsior Scholarship application in order to be considered for the Excelsior Scholarship.

A. Eligibility will be reviewed every semester. If you do not pass 30 credit hours each year you will lose the Excelsior Scholarship and may not be able to reinstate it. After graduation, you must live and be employed (if working) in New York State for at least as many years as you received the scholarship. If you do not meet the New York State residency requirement for as many years as you received the Excelsior Scholarship, it becomes a loan which you will then be required to pay back.

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