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New York State Excelsior / Enhanced Tuition Award Programs

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a new program for “free tuition” at public institutions.

Effective fall 2017, students who are New York State residents and U.S. citizens with family incomes of less than $125,000 may apply. A state-run lottery will decide who receives the award as it is not automatically guaranteed to all students. If you happen to be selected among the many thousands of applicants, you should be aware of the caveats below in order to receive free tuition:

  • You must maintain a minimum GPA or you will lose the award.
  • You must complete 30 credits per year or you will lose the award. Summer coursework as a part time student is not covered under the award.
  • You must graduate in four years or you will lose the award.
  • Upon graduation, you must live and work in New York State for as many years as you receive the award. Otherwise, the award becomes a loan and you will be required to repay the full amount.

The Marymount Manhattan College Advantage

Generous merit, talent, and need-based scholarships and grants offered. Marymount Manhattan College awards financial aid to more than 90 percent of its full-time students. The College rewards your academic and artistic achievements and wants to help support your academic career. In 2015-16 MMC awarded $18 million in federal, state and institutional grant aid to our students. Unlike the Excelsior or Enhanced Tuition Award Program there are no residency or work requirements attached to MMC institutional grants and scholarships and they will never be converted into a loan.

Remember to consider the net price when comparing the cost of education. MMC has one of the lowest tuition rates of private colleges in New York City. And, we offer a tailored educational experience including our premier City Edge program. This exciting college to career program assures you are prepared for a bright future. After you subtract the many sources of state, federal, and institutional aid, you may be surprised how affordable a private education can be.

Flexible course loads assure our students will be academically successful. We know not all students can take 15 credits in the first semester as they transition to college or in a future semester when they may have those demanding courses. At MMC, you can choose a variety of course loads, it is up to you. Our faculty and advisors will work with you each semester to assure you have the number and level of classes to assure your academic success.

The majority of graduating Marymount Manhattan students complete their degree in 4 years. Our small classes and student to faculty ratio of 11:1 assure you will get the attention you deserve. Most students will obtain an internship to get real world experience and are ready to go into the job market no matter where it takes them. In addition, 13% of our students apply and are accepted into graduate schools all around the country and the world. You never know where your next adventure will be, whether in New York City or in the global market.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the requirements to apply for the SUNY/CUNY Excelsior Scholarship?

    This scholarship is not automatic. Students will have to apply to New York State to participate in this program. Students that are New York State residents and US citizens who demonstrate family incomes less than $125,000 are considered eligible for the award. (The income level will be phased-in: eligibility will extend to families with incomes up to $100,000 in year one – fall 2017, $110,000 in year two – fall 2018, and $125,000 in year three – fall 2019.) There are stipulations attached including a minimum GPA, minimum course load of 30 credits per year, and you must graduate in four years. If the above requirements are not met at any point, the student loses all eligibility for the award. Additionally, students must commit to living and working in New York State after graduation for as long as they received the grant (i.e. if a student receives the Excelsior Award for four years, (s)he must live and work in New York for at least four years). If a student fails to uphold this agreement, the scholarship converts to a loan which must be repaid in its entirety.

  • Is this scholarship guaranteed for all students under $125,000?

    Funding for this program is limited and students must apply to be considered. If more students are eligible than total funding supports, the state will turn to a lottery-based system to determine who receives the scholarship, forcing many eligible families to be turned away. As we understand it, currently enrolled students will receive priority over new freshmen or transfer students.

  • How much can a student receive from the Excelsior Scholarship?

    A SUNY/CUNY Excelsior Scholarship recipient can receive up to $5,500 from the Excelsior Scholarship, minus any amounts received from NY State TAP or federal Pell grants.

  • Does this scholarship cover all costs for students attending SUNY or CUNY institutions?

    No. This scholarship only covers tuition costs. Fees, room and board charges are all extra and will be the student’s responsibility to pay. Other incidental expenses such as textbooks and travel will also be the student’s responsibility to pay.

  • What about grants for students who decide to attend private colleges? Do those exist?

    Under the new legislation, the Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA) is the private college version of Excelsior. In order to receive this award, private colleges must opt into this program and students must apply to New York State to participate.

    The Enhanced Tuition Award recipient can receive up to $6,000 from the ETA minus any amounts received from NY State TAP. The Enhanced Tuition Award is calculated as $6,000 minus your NY State TAP award. This equals your award eligibility.

    Funding for the ETA is limited. Similar to the Excelsior scholarship, if more students are eligible than total funding supports, the state will turn to a lottery-based system to determine who receives the award, forcing many eligible families to be turned away. As we understand it, currently enrolled students will receive priority over new freshmen or transfer students.

  • Does the Enhanced Tuition Award affect a student’s eligibility for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?

    No. TAP will be kept separate. The application process will remain the same and award amounts will not change. TAP awards can range from $500 to $5,165 depending on a variety of factors such as family income and full time status.

  • Will Marymount Manhattan be participating in the Enhanced Tuition Award program?

    MMC, like many other private institutions in New York, is waiting for further guidance from NY State regarding roll-out details of the Enhanced Tuition Award program before we can make an informed decision about participation.