The state received 63,599 applications for Excelsior Scholarships, of which 43,513 were denied, a denial rate of 68 percent.
By far the most commonly cited reason for denial was “not sufficient credits,” which accounted for 36,095 denials, 83 percent of all rejected applications.
Other cited reasons for denial include
exceeding the income limit (6 percent),
TAP application missing (5 percent),
and non-NY resident (3 percent).
A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship is eligible to receive award payments for not more than two years of full-time undergraduate study in a program leading to an associate's degree or four years of full-time undergraduate study, or five years if the program of study normally requires five years, in a program leading to a bachelor's degree.
HESC FAQs wrote:
Will I be able to attend college at SUNY or CUNY tuition free?
Yes. If you are a NYS resident whose family household federal adjusted gross income (as filed on your 2016 New York State Income Tax Returns) does not exceed $110,000 for the 2018-19 academic year and [b/you complete 30 credits per year, you will be able to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition free.
Can I get an award if I'm currently going to a public college?
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.
What does this mean? If you are a returning student, who messed up, exhausted all of your financial aid which takes 4 years to exhaust TAP (5 years if you are a SWD), then you are not eligible for Excelsior.
Can I reenroll as a first-year student and receive an Excelsior Scholarship if I began college many years ago?
No. Students who began an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree who are not on-track to complete on time are not eligible to receive an award. Students who began or completed a certificate program and who had a break in attendance before pursuing their associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to receive an award.
Am I eligible for an award if I changed my major and now need additional time to complete my degree? If you are no longer on track to complete an associate’s degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years, you will be ineligible for the award.
Will the Excelsior Scholarship pay for my summer classes if I attend a summer term to complete my 30 credits?
No. The Excelsior Scholarship will cover the full-time resident tuition charged by SUNY ($6,470) or the actual tuition charged, whichever is less.
Can credits that I earned during a summer or winter term be counted towards meeting my 30-credits per year?
Yes. Credits earned during a summer or winter term (as well as college credits earned while in high school) will count towards the 30-credit per year requirement.
What if I fail to complete the 30-credit requirement?
If you fail to complete 30 credits over a 365-day period, the Excelsior Scholarship will cover your first term; however, you will be responsible for the tuition liability for your second term. In addition, because you will no longer be on track to complete your degree on time, you will be ineligible for any future award payments.
Can I regain eligibility if I get back on track after failing to complete 30 credits in a prior year?
No. A student who fails to complete 30 credits in any year is ineligible for any future payments under the Program.
Am I eligible to apply if I started college in January 2018 and only completed 12 credits?
Students who first entered college in January 2018 must have a total of 15 credits to be eligible for fall 2018. Credits can be earned through a combination of classes taken in spring and/or summer and any accepted credits earned in high school applicable to their program of study.
Credit Catch Up Year
If I do not have the equivalent of 30 credits per year to be on-track for graduation, can I make them up to qualify?
Yes, a student who is not on track to complete an Associate’s degree in two consecutive years or Bachelor’s degree in four consecutive years (which requires completion of the equivalent of 30 credits each academic year) can catch up on missing credits to become eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship. If you successfully earn additional credits during a term or an academic year and get back on track to completing your degree on time, you will be eligible to receive an Excelsior Scholarship for the remainder of your undergraduate degree program.
If you are in an opportunity program, the program allows five years to complete your degree on time (which requires completion of the equivalent of 24 credits each academic year).
If you are in an undergraduate program of study normally requiring five-years, the program allows five years to complete your degree on time (which requires completion of the equivalent of 30 credits each academic year).
If you are a student with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the program requires that you complete the credits attempted each semester to fulfill the requirement for on-time degree completion.
just read a story where it said that approximately 75 percent (and maybe more, much more) of applicants are denied the excelsior scholarship!!
it's beginning to sound like a pipe dream for most, i'm afraid....maybe a scam according to some.
hmmmm...comments anybody? would like to hear from the financial aid officers who frequent this board. the NYS senate and assembly should hold hearings and get to the bottom of this...something needs to be changed in the regulations...and fast!!!