Purchase College has a commitment to higher education access, student success, and college completion.

And now, through New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship program, a greater number of New York students and families will be eligible to earn free tuition at Purchase College.

The first-of-its-kind in the nation plan will be phased in over three years, beginning for New Yorkers who earn up to $100,000 annually as of fall 2017, increasing to $110,000 as of fall 2018, and reaching $125,000 as of fall 2019.

How to Calculate the Excelsior Scholarship Awards Estimate

To determine a student’s estimated annual Excelsior Scholarship award amount, the 2016–17 resident tuition rate charged by SUNY ($6,470 at four-year colleges) or the current resident tuition rate (for freshmen) will be reduced by the amount of all other student financial aid awards which an applicant has or will receive for the 2018-19 academic year, excluding any awards for college work study or federal or private student loans made by a lending institution.

In addition, no deduction should be made for any award that is exclusively designated for a non-tuition expense, such as housing, books, computer equipment. The Excelsior Scholarship and Excelsior Tuition Credit will cover any remaining tuition liability up to $6,470 (2016-17 tuition rate). An Excelsior tuition credit will cover any remaining tuition liability that exceeds $6,470.

If a student receives any of the following assistance (and such financial aid has not been designated exclusively for non-tuition expenses such as housing, books, computers, etc.), the amount of the aid received must be subtracted from the 2017-18 annual tuition:

  • Pell Grant
  • Supplemental Opportunity Educational Grant (SEOG)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal Scholarships
  • TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) Grant
  • SUNY Tuition Credit
  • Scholarship of Academic Excellence
  • NYS Regents Awards for Child of Deceased and Disabled Veterans
  • NYS Achievement and Investment in Merit Scholarship (NY-AIMS)
  • Private Grants/Scholarships

Important Note: Student loans are not deducted from the annual tuition.

Example 1

Example 1: An Excelsior recipient attending a SUNY four-year college receives a $500 Pell Grant, a $500 TAP award and $750 in College Work Study.

The calculation for the annual Excelsior Scholarship award will be as follows:

2016-17 Tuition:           $6,470

Federal Pell Grant:      ($500)

TAP Grant:                         ($500)

College Work Study:  $1,000


Excelsior Award: $5,470

NOTE: Student loans and work study are NOT deducted from the annual tuition

Example 2

Example 2: A student attending a SUNY four-year college who receives no grant or scholarship aid, but receives a $1,500 Federal Direct Student Loan.


2016-17 Tuition:           $6,470

Federal Pell Grant:      ($0)

TAP Grant:                        ($0)

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: $1,500


Excelsior Award: $5,500

Excelsior Tuition Credit: $970

NOTE: Student loans and work study are NOT deducted from the annual tuition

Full Tuition Awards and Cost of Attendance Awards


Students receiving the following awards, which cover either their full tuition or full cost of attendance, are not be eligible to receive an Excelsior Scholarship award:

  • Veteran’s Tuition Award
  • NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program award
  • NYS Math & Science Teacher Incentive Program award
  • Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship
  • World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship
  • Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship
  • Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarship
  • NYS Memorial Scholarship for Children, Spouses and Financial Dependents of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers and Emergency Medical Service Workers award.