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Tuition-Free College? Take Advantage of The Excelsior Scholarship While You Can

2 students sit at table looking at computer screen with New York State - Excelsior Ever Upward logo over top.

This is a friendly reminder and a call to action: tution-free college is possible thanks to the Excelsior Scholarship, but you need to take action now if you want it this year!

The Excelsior Scholarship has garnered national attention. As the country’s first “tuition-free” state, New York is at the forefront of the conversation around higher education, and students are taking notice. This first-in-the-nation plan will be phased in over three years, beginning for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually in the fall of 2017, $110,000 in 2018, and $125,000 in 2019. The interest has been high and people are doing the research necessary to know what the program gives them and how they can take advantage of it, leading to a high number of applications to SUNY and the Excelsior Scholarship.

We’ve seen an awful lot of activity in a short period of time!

The first week that the application for the Excelsior scholarship went live, 21,000 New Yorkers applied to the program. That is a noticeable number and shows us how many New Yorkers now feel that college is attainable for them due to the scholarship. It furthers the accessibility part of SUNY’s mission.

In addition to the high number of Excelsior applicants, our Recruitment Response Center received hundreds of phone calls and web chats with all different types of questions about college and the program once the announcement of the scholarship went live. It’s good to know that our prospective students and their families are looking for ways to learn the details of the program. To make things easier for all, we have some tips for how to get through the Excelsior Scholarship application process that can be found online.

So remember, tuition-free college is here, and it’s here for many, many New Yorkers. But you need to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship to make it happen for you.

For a more in depth analysis of the program, check out our first post that answers FAQ’s as well as provides outside resources for different backgrounds.

The deadline to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship is July 21st, so make sure to apply before then if you qualify!

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Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.

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