The NYS Excelsior Scholarship

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 2023 Fall semester expires August 31, 2023.

Please note:

  • Continuing Excelsior recipients from the 2022-2023 school year and/or Spring 2023 semester do not need to reapply.
  • New students are required to complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA and TAP applications prior to completing the Fall application for the Excelsior Scholarship.

Starting in the 2022 - 2023 Academic year, NYS allowed colleges to review and process Excelsior appeals for current MCC students who are receiving the Excelsior Scholarship who failed to meet the credit requirements or have taken a break in attendance. Students should fill out the NYS TAP/APTS/Excelsior Waiver application. This appeal process is only for students who have already received the Excelsior scholarship at MCC. If a student was denied the Scholarship by HESC, they would need to appeal directly to HESC.

Eligibility Requirements and Online Application for Excelsior Scholarship



For the 2022-23 academic year, New York state residents with a family household adjusted gross income of $125,000* or less (as filed on your 2020 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.