Excelsior Scholarship Program Gives Financial Means to Graduate With Strings Attached

The Excelsior Scholarship, the financial aid program aimed to provide tuition-free college to residents of New York is off to a slow, but steady start. The program is a first of its kind in the nation as the New York State Government attempts to provide every person the opportunity to receive education free of financial restraints.

Limited financial means are the biggest roadblock to most students who are striving to achieve their dreams through the educational system, but with Excelsior making it possible for students to attend college tuition free the once monumental road block could be a thing of the past.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be covered by a few of the requirements, such as having a combined federal adjusted gross income of $110,000 or less. Students will also need to be a resident of New York State and will have to have been living there for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term.

“We encourage all our students to apply for scholarships, because we have found that scholarship recipients are more likely to graduate and be more successful and here at WCC scholarship foundation we are proud to play a part in helping students through their education journeys,” said Sandra Ramsay, the Director of WCC Scholarship Center

According to a WCC representative, our very own community college has received 475 Excelsior applications for the 2017-18 academic year, while 282 were approved and only 98 individuals were awarded the Excelsior scholarships.

WCC greatly enjoys this revolutionary educational program as its always trying to attract new students to the institution. Since this college is often viewed as a gateway to bigger educational and career opportunities by our students, a free tuition program like excelsior has found a perfect home at here at WCC.

The excelsior scholarship does not come with no strings attached, recipients of the fund will be required to stay and work in NY state for the same duration of time as they received financial assistance from the scholarship. Unfortunately, if the student does not fill the requirement the scholarship will become a loan.

Luckily, there are still other ways of paying the high tuition college costs of this era by using grants such as the TAP and PELL grants. The money these grants offer are provided by the U.S government and do not have to be repaid.

Even though this type of aid is greatly appreciated and welcomed, it is experiencing a slow start. This could be attributed to the fact that this was the state’s initial offering of this special scholarship, and the state approval for the program came in rather late.  This required WCC to quickly focus on communicating both with state officials and with students on the particulars of the scholarship.

The WCC representative also noted next time around the process will be much easier since we now know what the scholarship entails, as do our students.  Anyone interested in applying for the excelsior scholarship can access an online application at: https://www.hesc.ny.gov/excelsior

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