Office of Financial Aid

The Excelsior Scholarship is targeted toward New York State’s middle-class families and individuals who make up to $100,000 per year.  Individuals who qualify will be able to attend all CUNY and SUNY two-year and four-year colleges in New York State, tuition-free, beginning in the fall 2017 semester (subject to terms and conditions).

The Excelsior Scholarship - the nation's first accessible college program

The Excelsior Scholarship is targeted toward New York State’s middle-class families and individuals who make up to $100,000 per year.  Individuals who qualify will be able to attend all CUNY and SUNY two-year and four-year colleges in New York State, tuition-free, beginning in the fall 2017 semester (subject to terms and conditions).

The Excelsior Scholarship for eligible students will only be applied to tuition if the TAP award, Federal Pell and other financial aid are applied and will not meet tuition cost (Pursuant to the amended NYS Education Law, enacting the Excelsior Scholarship).

You may qualify if you are:

  • An undergraduate student who is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen and reside in NY State for one year prior to enrollment.
  • Register full-time and complete a minimum of 30 credits for per year. All coursework must be applicable to your major

For more information, please visit the Higher Education Services Corporation website.
Register at www.hesc.ny.gov/excelsior for application and additional information.

Financial Aid Loans

Unlike grants or work-study, loans are a form of financial aid that you must pay back at interest rates that are typically lower than consumer rates, usually not until after your studies have been completed. The size of the loan you seek and commit to should be determined only after all available gift-aid has been applied for. You should also determine whether the loan you choose has an interest-free grace period before repayment begins and if all or some of the loan may be deferred or repaid after graduation. 

We encourage students to submit only one application that estimates the total loan needs for the academic year. Direct loan applications are submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and processed based on the student's federal eligibility.

William D. Ford Direct Loan Program

Federal direct loan programs consist of low-interest loans are available to undergraduate students. The loan interest rate is variable (capped at 3.76 percent for both Subsidized and Unsubsidized) and adjusted annually. And fixed for the life of the loan. Visit StudentAid.gov/interest for more information.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

Subsidized loan eligibility is based upon demonstrated financial need (filing the FAFSA) and the interest is subsidized (paid) by the federal government until you are enrolled less than half time.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time, or interest payments can be made on a monthly basis.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan for Undergraduate Students

Parents of dependent students are eligible to apply for loans under the Federal Direct Loan program. The parent must be a biological parent, step-parent or adoptive parent whose information is on the FAFSA. These loans are based on credit not need. Parents may borrow up to the student's cost of education minus any other financial aid and scholarships.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The borrowing parent must sign a master promissory note online at studentloans.gov. Be sure to complete the "Parent Plus" MPN. If the parent has previously completed an MPN, in most cases a new promissory note is not required. If the parent applies with an endorser to get approval, a new PLUS MPN will be required.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time, or interest payments can be made on a monthly basis.