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Applications for Cuomo's free college program close July 21

There were about 75,000 students who applied for the first such program in the country
July 21 is the final day to apply for free college under Gov. Cuomo's Excelsior Scholarship.
City College in Harlem is among the CUNY schools included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's free college Excelsior Scholarship. (Wikimedia)

Attention college students in New York state: Today is the last day that you can apply for free college through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship program.

The application process for the Excelsior Scholarship, which is the nation’s first such program, opened in early June and gave more than 940,000 middle-class families a shot at a free public college education, if they or their family earn $100,000 or less annually. That number will change to $125,000 in 2019.

There have been about 75,000 students who have applied for the Excelsior Scholarship, Cuomo’s office said Thursday, according to the New York Post.

Of those 75,000 applications, 51,000 were for SUNY schools, while CUNY schools received 24,000 applicants.

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The maximum scholarship under the program is $5,500, a number that will decrease depending on other financial aid a student may receive for an academic year, such as a state Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and/or Pell grants.

“A college degree has become a necessity to succeed in the modern economy, and this program is the ticket to greater opportunity and will help build the stronger, smarter workforce New york needs to complete in the global economy,” Cuomo said when Excelsior Scholarship applications opened.

Applicants must have passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test designated by New York’s state education department, and be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term, with at least 30 successive credits toward their degree annually.

Additionally, they must agree via contract to stay in New York state for the same amount of time they received an Excelsior Scholarship.

For more info, visit hesc.ny.gov/excelsior.  

 
 
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