Excelsior Scholarship

"Free Tuition" at SUNY/CUNY Institutions?
Some things to think about...

No Strings Attached at Alfred University

Graduation Cap Toss
  • "Free tuition” does not equal “free college.” Room, board, and fees factor into your total costs. You should compare total costs, not just the cost of tuition. Alfred University already provides institutional aid – grants and scholarships, not loans – for most families whose family income is below $100,000 a year. 
  • There are no strings attached with Alfred University’s institutional aid, as long as you maintain a passing grade-point average.  There’s no limit to the number of semesters; there’s no requirement that you remain in New York State for at least four years after graduation. The grant will not turn into a loan if you leave the state. You will be free to choose the job and career you want, regardless of where it takes you.
  • A four-year limit on receiving the Excelsior grant does not allow you the freedom to explore what interests you, and then settle on a program that you love. We want you to attend the school that best fits your academic, career and social needs and goals.
  • It’s a matter of choice. A four-year deadline on completion reduces opportunities for internships and co-ops, study abroad, and could even limit options for student teaching. Participating in all of these enhances your ability to get that first job or to gain entry to the graduate school/professional program of your choice.
  • More crowded classrooms at SUNY/CUNY schools mean it will be harder to complete in four years, but if you don’t complete on time, the Excelsior program will penalize you. "Free" becomes expensive when students start college but change majors, participate in a co-op, require medial coursework or transfer to another institution.
  • New York State is also offering an Enhanced Tuition Assistance program (TAP) that provides up to $3,000 a year toward tuition costs. But, there are limits on both the Excelsior program and on the Enhanced Tuition Assistance Program. The state is allocating $87 million the first year for Excelsior, and $19 million for Enhanced Tuition Assistance. Students (not the University) must apply to the Higher Education Services Corporation to participate in either program. We are not yet sure how the grants will be awarded; word now is they may be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, or a lottery system. It is entirely possible that not everyone who qualifies will receive funding.
  • New York's private colleges, such as Alfred University, have higher graduation rates, lower loan default rates, higher graduate average salaries, and lower class sizes than their public counterparts.


individuals inspired
Back to Top