Excelsior Scholarship will be awarded for fall semester, despite NY’s money woes

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Students who applied for the Excelsior Scholarship for the Fall 2020 semester will receive full financial rewards despite the state’s budget deficit.

The Excelsior Scholarship provides free tuition for students who come from a family whose household income is $125,000 or less.

As a result of COVID-19, the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation initially stated that the scholarship may have to be reduced or prioritized for current recipients.

In a statement to 7 News, HESC said students will receive the full scholarship for the Fall 2020 semester, but future awards, including the Excelsior Scholarship, may need to be reduced for the Spring 2021 semester.

“We’re just all very relieved knowing that at the very least have our students in a good place for the fall semester, especially since we’re a good chunk of the way into the semester. So just making sure that we get everything taken care of and then we can plan for the spring,” said Tommiann Russell, director of financial aid, SUNY Potsdam.

HESC says the Excelsior Scholarship award served 28,000 students in the 2019-2020 academic year.

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