Excelsior Scholarship

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Tuition-free college is here New York!

The new Excelsior Scholarship program makes an education at SUNY Oneonta more affordable than ever for New York State families. 

To learn more about the Excelsior Scholarship, visit:

Excelsior Scholarship and Your Fall Bill

Fall 2017 bills for new and returning undergraduate students are scheduled to be available at my.oneonta.edu on July 7.  

  • Excelsior applicants will notice that the scholarship is not reflected on their bill. 
  • Eligibility and estimated award amounts are not expected to be available until after the August 2nd payment due date. 

If you have applied for the Excelsior Scholarship, the College is providing you with two options to “clear” your bill, pending determination of your eligibility:

  • Option 1: Pay the balance in full and be reimbursed any excess payment resulting from an Excelsior Scholarship award.
  • Option 2: Enroll in the Oneonta Installment Plan and pay the first installment (1/3 of the balance due).  If an Excelsior Scholarship is awarded, the remaining installments will be reduced or canceled, depending on the scholarship amount.

The Student Accounts office can be reached at 607-436-3389 and are happy to answer any questions you may have about your payment options.

Please review the section on Excelsior Award Revised Billing and Certification for additional information

How much will my Excelsior Scholarship award be?

An Excelsior Scholarship recipient may receive up to $5,500 from the Excelsior Scholarship, minus any amounts received for TAP, Pell or other scholarships.

  • The remainder of your tuition charge will be covered through a tuition credit paid through SUNY 
  • Eligible award recipients will be issued a revised bill showing their Excelsior program awards
  • Excelsior scholarship awards do not cover other educational costs such as Comprehensive Student Fee, course fees, room, dining, or books.

How will my Excelsior Scholarship award be calculated?

TAP, Pell and any other grants or scholarships are subtracted from the frozen tuition amount of $6,470.00, the amount remaining is your Excelsior Scholarship award up to a maximum of $5,500.00. Any remaining tuition liability will be covered by a tuition credit paid through SUNY.

Excelsior Scholarship At A Glance

The Excelsior Scholarship is an innovative, tuition-free program aimed at making an education more affordable for New York State families. We at SUNY Oneonta are excited about the promise of this groundbreaking program and although many of the details are being worked out at the state level, we are eager to answer your questions and share what we do know:

  • Undergraduate students
  • New York State residents
  • Those students and families whose combined adjusted gross income for the 2015 tax year is $100,000.00 or less

More information on program details and eligibility criteria may be found at SUNY Smart Track

Excelsior Scholarship Key Points

The 2017-18 Excelsior Scholarship application period closed on July 21, 2017.

  • Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2017-18 school year using your 2015 tax information
  • Complete your New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application for the 2017-18 school year using your 2015 tax information
  • The Excelsior Scholarship application is now available! The application for the 2017-18 school year will be available June 7th – July 21st, 2017. Please note: After July 21st you will no longer be able to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship for this school year. 

Tips for completing the Excelsior Scholarship application

Revised Bills

  • Students who are determined Excelsior eligible will receive a notification to login to my.oneonta.edu and review a revised financial aid award letter reflecting the addition of their estimated Excelsior Scholarship Award
  • The Excelsior Scholarship award will appear as a credit towards the tuition charge on the revised bill

Important note about Excelsior Scholarship “certification”

At the end of the fall and spring semesters, HESC will require the College to confirm final award eligibility for each student.  This includes confirmation of minimum credits earned and certification of other grants and scholarships factored into the estimated Excelsior Scholarship award calculation. 

If a student does not meet the certification requirements, eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship program and associated awards will be rescinded.  HESC determines final eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship program.

Students are responsible for all monies owed as a result of a loss of eligibility, regardless of when the loss is determined. 


  • The Excelsior Scholarship program has a post-graduation residency requirement. Students are required to reside in New York State for the same number of years for which they received the award.  Students do not need to be employed during this period; however, they cannot be employed in another state
  • Failure to meet these conditions will result in conversion of the Excelsior Scholarship to an interest-free loan administered by HESC
  • Some deferments of post-graduation residency requirement such as out-of-state graduate study are allowed as defined in legislation and determined by HESC 

Excelsior Scholarship FAQs


We will continue to update this page as more details become available on this first-in-the-nation program to provide a tuition-free college experience to New York State students with qualifying income. You may also access additional information on the New York State Excelsior Scholarship by visiting SUNY Smart Track

Have a question that we have not addressed? Contact our Financial Aid office:

Inquiry Form