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A Full Form of Support For Part-Time Students

Students sit outside on a stone wall at Onondaga Community College.

We know that college is a large commitment when it comes to cost, which is why colleges, universities, and government work so hard to help students find ample means of financial support. Scholarships, grants, and loans are key to earning a college degree for many, in order to be prepared for the life and career that follow. And with so many different types of students enrolling in college, a large variety of financial aid is needed to meet the needs of a diverse student body. Thankfully, we have good news to share about an initiative that will help many of our students: Following the footsteps of New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship program, students who are enrolled part-time at a SUNY community college now can pursue tuition assistance through a NYS higher education scholarship program.

The NYS Part-time Scholarship (PTS) Award Program, which was launched during the 2017-2018 school year, provides financial aid to students registered for six credits but fewer than 12 credits per semester*. Eligible students will receive an award that covers the cost of six credit hours or $1,500 per semester, whichever is less. Recipients will be selected and prioritized based on financial need.

A list of additional requirements for eligibility is as follows:

  • be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
  • be matriculated in an approved undergraduate program at a SUNY community college;
  • maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher;
  • be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or repayment of any NYS award; and
  • be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by an NYS award

At SUNY, our 30 community colleges are a cornerstone to workforce and economic development in New York State. Students, many of whom are adult learners already balancing work and home life, often come to take advantage of the cutting edge programs that develop the workforce skills which are in high demand throughout the state. So offering tuition assistance to part time students can be seen as a surefire way to both enhance completion and employment rates. Cayuga Community College has already reached out to their students, urging them to take advantage of the program:

“The New York State Part-time Scholarship Award is a great program that offers part-time students an opportunity for help with tuition as they continue their education and pursue a college degree,” said Cayuga Community College Vice President of Student Affairs Jeffrey Rosenthal. “I urge eligible students at Cayuga Community College or any community college in the SUNY and CUNY system to consider applying to this program.”

If you’re getting ready to head back, or start, school this fall, be sure to apply for this scholarship support. The deadline for the 2018-19 academic year is July 27, 2018. For more information about the program, please visit the award program’s general information or FAQ webpages.


*Students with qualified disabilities under the American With Disabilities Act who are registered with their college office for students with disabilities and who satisfy all other eligibility requirements may receive awards if enrolled in at least three credits.

    Written by Julie Maio

    Julie is a Communications Assistant at SUNY System Administration.

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