Many college students waiting to hear back on Excelsior Scholarship eligibility for the fall semester

UTICA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – For most colleges around New York, classes will be starting at the end of the month. For many students, they are still left wondering if they will even be able to attend school due to the Excelsior Scholarship.

“It’s been a little hectic,” said Michael Pede, Director of Financial Aid for Mohawk Valley Community College.

School is just weeks away for most colleges around New York. For students attending Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), your bill must be paid by August 24th. If not, your classes will get dropped at MVCC. This is leaving students who are still waiting to hear back about the Excelsior Scholarship a little worried.

“We are getting some increases of phone calls especially with the bill deadline approaching students are getting nervous,” explained Pede.

Here is how the process is working. Once the student has applied for the scholarship, the Higher Education Services Corporation has to approve the financial eligibility, which is households making less than $100,000 a year. The school then has to confirm the credit hour criteria of at least 30 credits per calendar year. The process is still not over from there.

“When the student receives the scholarship, they have to live in the state of New York and work in the state of New York so they have to sign a contract. Once that contract goes in then we’re notified that the student is eligible and then we have to go through and determine how much,” Michael Pede, Director of Financial Aid for Mohawk Valley Community College said.

The University at Albany had around 4,000 students apply that are banking on receiving the Excelsior Scholarship. MVCC had around 385 students.

“Out of the 385 roughly about 84 will receive it,” Pede said.

MVCC is saying that they are not seeing a significant increase in those applying due to the scholarship, but the University at Albany explained that they are seeing a rise in numbers.

“We’ve seen an increase in our transfer applications,” said Sandra Starke, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at the University at Albany. “We think that excelsior may be helping more students attend college.”

If a student does receive the Excelsior Scholarship, they still have to pay for their textbooks and room and board.

According to the universities, a big reason many students did not receive the Excelsior Scholarship is if they are having their tuition met by either Pell or TAP grants.

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