The NYS Excelsior Scholarship

Special message to our students:
We share your concerns regarding the timely notification of your 2020-21 Excelsior Scholarship award. Please note that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reduced state revenues and the processing of new applications is pending on Federal assistance, which has been delayed since April. Excelsior Scholarship awards may have to be reduced and/or prioritized for current recipients as provided for under the program. We will update you as more information becomes available.

Making public college tuition-free!

The NYS Excelsior Scholarship is the first program of its kind to waive tuition for a public college education. This includes MCC plus all other SUNY and CUNY two-year and four-year colleges and universities. The Excelsior Scholarship is for tuition only, minus any financial aid awards you receive from TAP and/or Pell.

The NYS Excelsior Scholarship application for the 2021 Spring semester is closed. Please note:

  • Continuing Excelsior recipients from the 2019-2020 school year and/or Spring 2020 semester do not need to reapply.
  • New students are required to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA and TAP applications prior to completing the Fall application for the Excelsior Scholarship.

Eligibility Requirements and Online Application for Excelsior Scholarship



For the 2020-21 academic year, New York state residents with a family household adjusted gross income of $125,000* or less (as filed on your 2018 federal tax returns) are eligible to apply for the Excelsior scholarship program. Other requirements include New York state residency for 12 months or more, and full time enrollment in your degree program. 

Scholarship Requirements

Income eligibility over the next three years

Academic Year Income Eligibility
2017-18 Academic Year $100,000
Federal household adjusted gross income as filed on your 2015 federal tax returns.
2018-19 Academic Year $110,000
Federal household adjusted gross income can total up to a $110,000 as filed on your 2016 federal tax returns.
2019 and Beyond $125,000
Federal household adjusted gross income can total up to a $125,000 as filed on your 2017 federal tax returns.