Financial aid office anticipates increase of Excelsior Scholarship recipients

Number of recipients projected at 2,400 to 2,500 for the new academic year


The financial aid office projects a 200 to 300 student increase of Excelsior Scholarship recipients for the 2018-19 academic year, according to Janessa Givens Daniels, acting senior assistant director of financial aid. As of May 31, the office anticipates roughly 2,400 to 2,500 students with the scholarship.

The projected increase comes after the scholarship’s income eligibility increased from last year’s $100,000 to $110,000. In the 2019-20 academic year, families of recipients will be allowed to make up to $125,000.

The scholarship is available to New York state residents who attend a SUNY or CUNY school and take 30 credits per year. Students must live in the state for the length of time they utilize the scholarship. The scholarship allowed for 53 percent of SUNY and CUNY in-state full-time students to attend school tuition free, according to New York state’s website. This accounts for 210,000 NYS residents.

Over 2,200 UB students were Excelsior recipients last academic year. This is an estimate based on financial aid data, according to Daniels.
The financial aid office did not have information available regarding students’ average Excelsior award during the 2017-18 school year.

UB has recorded increases in overall undergraduate student enrollment for the past three years, including in-state enrollment, according to Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Lee Melvin. But this increase can’t be directly correlated with the Excelsior Scholarship’s introduction, he said.

“Strategies and goals were already in place to increase enrollment prior to the announcement of the Excelsior Scholarship. It would be difficult to directly correlate the enrollment increase to the Excelsior Scholarship, as many factors can be attributed to our growth,” Melvin said.

Brenton Blanchet is the co-managing editor and can be reached at brenton.blanchet@ubspectrum.com