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Making public college tuition free for thousands of students

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The Excelsior Scholarship program will provide NY State resident students up to $5,500* annually for assistance with tuition.  It will be phased in over three years, beginning in fall 2017 for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually, increasing to $110,000 in 2018, and reaching $125,000 in 2019.

What are the basic eligibility requirements?

  • You must be an Undergraduate student
  • You must be a New York State resident
  • Your combined family adjusted gross income for the 2015 tax year must be $100,000, or less (year one requirements)
  • You must earn a minimum of 30 credits per year
  • You must maintain good academic standing
  • You must be on track to graduate on time with a Bachelor's Degree in four years
  • Additional information about eligibility and requirements to maintain the scholarship are available on the HESC website.

How do I apply

  • Complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Complete the 2017-2018 New York Express TAP application
  • Complete the Excelsior Scholarship Application.  The deadline to apply is July, 21, 2017 for the 2017-2018 award year.  If you have any questions about the application process, contact Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) at 1-888-697-4372.  To complete your application you will need the following:
    • Copies of 2015 New York State income tax return(s) filed by you and your parent(s) or your spouse, as applicable;
    • If you are not a freshman, you will need an unofficial transcript showing the number of credits you earned each year from each college/university you have attended.  You can obtain an unofficial Stony Brook transcript from your SOLAR account.  It is recommended you save it as a PDF;
    • A copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).  If you do not have the one you received when you filed your FAFSA, you may obtain one from https://fafsa.ed.gov/ by logging into your account.
    • You must upload the required documentation as instructed on the confirmation page.  Failure to upload by the deadline displayed on the confirmation page will disqualify you for the award.

What happens after I apply?

  • HESC will review the information you provide on your application.
  • Stony Brook will provide HESC with requested information about your academic record.
  • If preliminary eligibility has been determined by HESC, they will issue a contract requiring your signature.
  • Stony Brook will be notified that you've signed your award contract and your preliminary award will be posted to your financial aid package.

What else do I need to know?

* The Excelsior Scholarship is a tuition specific award, meaning it only pays towards tuition charges.  It is also a last dollar award and the $5,500 amount will be reduced by other grant/scholarship assistance received, even if those grants/scholarships are not earmarked to pay tuition only.  Therefore, if you receive awards such as Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG, NY Tuition Assistance (TAP), SUNY Tuition Credits, other NY grants or scholarship, Stony Brook grants or scholarships or any external scholarships, your Excelsior Scholarship will be reduced or you may not be eligible to receive an award.

What if I wish to decline the Excelsior award after I have signed the contract?

Any student who wishes to decline the Excelsior award after they have signed the contract must send an email to declineexcelsior@hesc.ny.gov

 
 
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