NYS Excelsior Program and NYS Enhanced Tuition Award Program

What is the Excelsior Program?

The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. To be eligible for the NYS excelsior program, students must reside in New York state and demonstrate family incomes of no more than $125,000 for the tax year 2021.

Is the Excelsior Program guaranteed for all students who meet income requirements?

No. Students must apply and continue to meet all eligibility requirements. 

What costs does the Excelsior Program cover?

The Excelsior Program only covers tuition at a SUNY or CUNY institution. Other costs, such as fees, books, room and board, and living expenses will not be covered.

In order to be – and stay – eligible for the Excelsior Program, students must:

  • Reside in New York state.
  • Demonstrate family incomes of no more than $125,000 for tax year 2021.
  • Be a full-time student and complete 30 credits per academic year.
  • Maintain a certain GPA and complete their programs on time – two years for associate degree programs and four years for bachelor degree programs.
  • Commit to residing and working in New York state after graduation for as many years as they received the award.

If a student is not able to meet these requirements, the grant will revert to a loan which will need to be repaid. If students do not fulfill these requirements – whether it be for family or personal illness, family emergency, change of major or other reasons – they will lose eligibility and be required to pay back the grant funds as if they were a loan. 

If a student receives the award, is it possible to lose it?

Yes.  Students must meet all eligibility requirements listed above – otherwise,  the award will be forfeited.

Does St. Joseph's University participate in the Enhanced Tuition Award program?

St. Joseph's University has decided not to opt in to the Enhanced Tuition Award program at this time. In partnership with its New York State elected officials, the University will monitor the ETA program and evaluate whether or not to participate in future academic years.

Why should students consider St. Joseph's University?

Students should consider factors such as class size, retention rates and graduation rates, along with affordability when selecting a college. St. Joseph's University has a combined campus – including Brooklyn and Long Island – six-year graduation rate of 69% and an 82% retention rate, both of which are well above the national average. A faculty to student ratio of 12:1 means smaller class sizes, where students are able to get individual attention and engage with their professors on a personal level. St. Joseph’s offers competitive financial aid packages, awarding over $45 million in grants and scholarships during the 2022-23 academic year. Our grants and scholarships are more flexible than the Excelsior or Enhanced Tuition Award Program - there are no residency or work requirements attached, and our institutional grants and scholarships will not be converted into a loan.