Excelsior Scholarship Program USA: Application Requirements, Deadline And How To Apply In 2023

Looking for how to apply for Excelsior Scholarship Program? You’re at the right place. This article features a complete guide on how you can successfully apply for Excelsior Scholarship Fund USA. You will find the application requirements, deadline and guidelines here. Read on!

A scholarship is an award of financial assistance to a student to further his/her education at a private elementary or secondary school, or a private or public post-secondary college, university, or other academic institution.

Scholarships are awarded based on certain factors, such as; academic merit, diversity and inclusion, athletic skill, and financial need, among others (some of these factors can be combined).

However, the scholarship beneficiaries are not mandated to repay scholarships, the awards may require that the student needs to meet certain requirements during their period of support to continue receiving the scholarship.

These requirements includes; maintaining a minimum grade point average (GPA) or engaging in a certain activity (e.g., playing on a sports team of the school for athletic scholarship holders, or serving as an assistant lecturer for some graduate scholarships).


Furthermore, scholarships may provide a financial award, an in-kind award which includes waiving of tuition fees or fees for housing in a dormitory or a combination of both.

Excelsior Scholarship

Excelsior Scholarship provides in-state, university tuition for residents of New York whose families earn less than a set annual income cap of $100,000 in 2017. This sums up to annual savings between $4,000-$6,500, and it depends on whether the student attends a community college or a four year school.

It is important to note that, the Excelsior scholarship only covers tuition, so students should bear in mind that they’ll be an additional cost of fees such as; room and board, which can cost up to $14,000 annually.

To maintain the Excelsior scholarship, students are expected to maintain 30 annual class credits at a state college: State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY). However, there is also a GPA requirement.

More importantly, after graduation, Excelsior students are required to live and work in New York for as many years as they received the scholarship.


Excelsior Scholarship Program Application Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be a resident of New York State and have resided in New York for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
  • Be a citizen of United States or eligible non-citizen;
  • Have either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school diploma, or passed an “Ability to Benefit” test (federally approved), as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
  • Have a summed up federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less;
  • Be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a State University of New York or City University of New York, including community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University;
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits per term and complete a minimum of 30 credits each year (successively), applicable towards his/her degree program through nonstop study with no¬† shear in enrollment except for certain reasons which will be documented;
  • If applicant has attended college prior to the 2021-22 academic year, he/she must have earned a minimum of 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his/her degree program prior to applying for an Excelsior Scholarship;
  • Be in a non-default status on a student loan made under the New York State or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any New York State award;
  • Be in compliance with the terms and conditions of service imposed by the New York State (NYS) award that he/she have previously received; and
  • Execute a Contract agreeing to reside in New York State for the length of time the award was received, and, if employed during such time, be employed in the State.

How To Apply For Excelsior Scholarship Program

Students who currently receives the scholarship do not need to complete the 2023-23 application.

In order to complete the 2023-23 application, you will be required to:

  1. Duly complete the FAFSA form and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Application.
  2. Apply for the New York State (NYS) Excelsior Scholarship via Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) at: www.hesc.ny.gov/excelsior, if you are a New York State resident.
  3. Submit copies of the 2020 New York State income tax return(s) filled by you and your parent/guardian.
  4. Upload your college transcripts and your 2023-23 Student Aid Report (SAR).
  5. Upload an official college transcript, for transfer students with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  6. Please enable to upload your documents after you submitted the Excelsior Application at the High Education Services Corporations (HESC) Account Access page.

Excelsior Scholarship Deadline

The deadline for Excelsior Scholarship for 2021-2023 academic year cycle is June 30, 2023. The resident tuition costs of eligible for State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) students whose 2019 family adjusted gross income was $125,000 or less. Visit hesc.ny.gov/excelsior for more information.

Excelsior Scholarship Coverage And Benefits

A beneficiary of the Excelsior Scholarship may result up to $5,500. To determine the award amount, the 2016-2021 resident tuition rate charged by the State University of New York was $6,470, while for the City University of New York was $6,330.


The stated amounts include the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award/federal pell grant.

The Excelsior scholarship will cover any remaining tuition liability less than $5,500. Likewise, a tuition credit will cover any remaining tuition expenses not covered by the scholarship.

Excelsior Scholarship Duration

Beneficiaries are eligible to receive an Excelsior Scholarship for up to 2 years (i.e students pursuing an Associate’s degree) and up to 4 years (i.e students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree). Students in an undergraduate program of study which requires 5 years are eligible to receive the award for 5 years.

Final Words

The Excelsior Scholarship is available for students of any age, the student don’t have to be a recent high school graduate. But he/she cannot already have a bachelor’s degree or be in default on existing federal or state student loans.

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