Local Students Learn About Applying For Excelsior Scholarship

Local Students Learn About Applying For Excelsior Scholarship

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Spencer Pease from Hammond will be returning to Jefferson Community College this fall.

He's learning about a free option to pay for school: the Excelsior Scholarship.

"Honestly, I didn't really know anything about it and I just got told today," he said.

A spokesperson for Governor Cuomo says more than 21,000 people applied for the Excelsior Scholarship in the first week.

Jefferson Community College is hosting Wednesday afternoon sessions this summer to tell students about the scholarship.

"It's going to eliminate loan debt, so students who wouldn't have qualified for Pell or TAP or maybe not enough scholarships, have an opportunity to come to college," said James Ambrose, JCC director of financial aid.

SUNY Canton's financial aid staff is also teaching students about the scholarship.

This year, a student's family must make $100,000 or less annually. The student has to complete 30 credit hours each year. A student must also stay in New York for the same time that student had the scholarship or it becomes a loan.

"Part of the impetus in the Excelsior Scholarship is to have students graduate in a timely way and that's why they're doing it this way," said Zvi Szafran, SUNY Canton president.

Pease also wants to take classes at SUNY Canton. He says the Excelsior Scholarship would help him finish his criminal justice degree.

"I'll definitely be applying for it because I have a big family and money's tight, so might as well go for a scholarship and I'm willing to stick it out for it," he said.

If you'd like to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship, you still have about five weeks. The application deadline is July 21.

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