New York Scholarships for Students

New York college students qualify for millions in scholarship money. Learn about scholarships in New York and how to apply.
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  • New York scholarships award millions in financial aid every year.
  • Each year, tens of thousands of students benefit from state scholarships.
  • Scholarships are free money for college since you don't need to pay them back.

In 2020, New York's Excelsior Scholarship awarded over $137 million in funds to nearly 33,000 New Yorkers. And that's just one of dozens of New York scholarships.

If you live in New York, you can benefit from millions in scholarship awards. You can find scholarships based on your school, major, career goals, or financial need.

Check out our list of New York State scholarships to find your next scholarship opportunity.

New York State Scholarships for Students

New York State (NYS) Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Tuition Assistance Program

Deadline: June

Amount: Up to $5,665

Eligibility: New York residents attending a New York college full time qualify for this scholarship. You'll need to be in good academic standing and spend at least $200 in tuition annually. The program also has income requirements. For dependent undergrads, those with under $80,000 in income qualify.

First Responders Children's Foundation General Scholarship

Deadline: June

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: The foundation awards multiple scholarships annually. You must be the child of a police officer, firefighter, EMT, paramedic, or 911 dispatcher to qualify. The scholarships also require a minimum 2.7 GPA, and you'll need to attend an accredited program in the U.S. After receiving the scholarship, you can reapply for up to four years.

NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence

Deadline: March

Amount: $500-$1,500

Eligibility: These New York State scholarships are available to students at colleges or universities in the state. You can renew the scholarship for up to four years, with the option of five years of funding if your program requires that length of time.

NYS Aid for Part-Time Study

Deadline: June

Amount: $2,000

Eligibility: Many New York scholarships require full-time status, but this scholarship funds part-time students attending New York colleges. You must be a legal resident of New York and in good academic standing to qualify. The program also sets income eligibility limitations.

The Leopold Schepp Foundation

Deadline: Rolling

Amount: Up to $9,000

Eligibility: Undergrads and grad students can qualify for the scholarship. You'll need a minimum 3.3 GPA and must be enrolled full time in your program. You'll also need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. All candidates must undergo an interview in New York City.

Horatio Alger State Scholarship

Deadline: March

Amount: $10,000

Eligibility: High school juniors can apply for the scholarship. You'll need to attend an accredited institution and demonstrate critical financial need. The scholarship defines need as under $55,000 in adjusted gross family income. You'll also need a minimum 2.0 GPA and a record of community service.

Ascend Educational Fund Scholarship

Deadline: February

Amount: $2,500-$20,000

Eligibility: Designed for first- and second-generation immigrants, this scholarship funds high school seniors from New York City's five boroughs. You'll need to have been born outside the U.S. or have two parents born internationally. Recipients must enroll full time at an accredited college or university.

Juan Lafuente Leadership Scholarship

Deadline: April

Amount: $1,000

Eligibility: Dutchess County residents qualify for this scholarship. You'll need a record of academic achievement, particularly in math and science. The scholarship committee also looks at leadership contributions and character. You must attend an accredited college in New York.

University-Specific Scholarships for Students in New York

The Excelsior Scholarship

Deadline: August

Amount: Up to $5,500

Eligibility: SUNY and CUNY college students can apply for the scholarship. You must be a New York resident with a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less. The New York scholarship funds undergrads, including those at community colleges. You need to enroll full time to qualify.

Cunniffe Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: All admitted students considered

Amount: Up to $20,000

Eligibility: Fordham University offers this merit-based scholarship, which recipients can renew for up to four years. The top 20-25 admitted students receive the award. Fordham awards scholarships based on admission applications, so the deadline is the same as the regular application deadline.

SUNY Potsdam Merit Scholarship

Deadline: All admitted students considered

Amount: Up to $5,000

Eligibility: SUNY Potsdam awards merit scholarships on a first-come, first-served basis. These merit scholarships also extend to online students. Recipients must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA and can receive the scholarship for up to eight semesters of full-time study.

Kaye Scholars Program

Deadline: March

Amount: $7,340

Eligibility: City College offers scholarships in New York for full-time students with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The Kaye Scholars program requires a major in the Division of Humanities and Arts, which includes art, history, English, communication, and other fields of study.

Clifford and Siegfried Upton Scholarship

Deadline: July

Amount: $1,000

Eligibility: Columbia University awards the Clifford and Siegfried Upton Scholarship to children of Houghton-Mifflin employees. Both undergraduate and graduate students can qualify. The scholarship requires a letter from the employer verifying eligibility.

September 11 Scholarships

Deadline: June

Amount: Full cost of tuition, fees, room, and board

Eligibility: New York University offers five scholarships for the children and spouses of first responders killed during the September 11th attacks. You don't need to be a New York resident to qualify, but you must be admitted to an undergraduate program at NYU and enroll full time to receive funds. Transfer students are also eligible.

Jesse Moore Urban League Scholarship

Deadline: All admitted students considered

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: The University of Rochester offers this scholarship for students with impressive academic and personal achievements. All admitted students are considered for this merit scholarship, so no separate application is required.

Our Time Has Come Scholarship

Deadline: June

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: Syracuse University offers multiple scholarships through the Our Time Has Come Program. You must show a strong interest in volunteering and leadership training. Applicants also need a minimum 3.25 GPA. Syracuse uses the FAFSA to determine financial need when awarding this scholarship.

Subject-Specific Scholarships for Students in New York

The Whelan Foundation Scholarship Program

Deadline: March

Amount: Up to $20,000

Eligibility: This New York scholarship is for education majors. Long Island seniors attending college full time qualify. You'll also need a minimum 3.5 GPA and at least 80 hours of volunteer work in special education.

NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program

Deadline: August

Amount: Up to $7,070

Eligibility: These New York State scholarships award tuition to New York residents attending a public college in New York. You must be in the top 10% of your high school class and attending a STEM program. Recipients must also agree to work in a STEM field in New York for five years after graduation.

New York Water Environment Association Scholarships

Deadline: February

Amount: Up to $6,000

Eligibility: The New York Water Environment Association offers multiple scholarships that total over $50,000 in funding. Some scholarships are multiyear awards. Eligibility guidelines vary by scholarship. For example, the requirements for the $6,000 Nicholas J. Bartilucci Environmental Scholarship include being a high school senior, being a New York resident, and earning a bachelor's in engineering with an emphasis on public service.

NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarships (Region I)

Deadline: March

Amount: $3,500

Eligibility: The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Foundation awards scholarships in New York. You must be a high school senior with an outstanding academic record. You'll also need to show interest in working in the automotive industry.

Ontario County Casella Scholarship

Deadline: March

Amount: $2,500

Eligibility: The Casella Environmental Waste Management scholarships are open to students majoring in environmental studies, agriculture, or agricultural business. You must provide an acceptance letter from a recognized college program and be a resident of Ontario County.

Scholarships for Women in New York

New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) Scholarship

Deadline: February

Amount: $2,500-$10,000

Eligibility: New York residents who are full-time undergrads or grad students qualify. You must earn a degree in communication or a related field at an accredited college. You'll also need a minimum 3.2 GPA. NYWICI conducts interviews to determine recipients.

ATHENA Adult Scholarship

Deadline: June

Amount: Up to $2,000

Eligibility: Women who live in Seneca, Yates, or Eastern Ontario counties can qualify for this scholarship. You must be over the age of 25 and enrolled in a certificate or degree-granting program. You can use the award for education-related expenses, like childcare and transportation.

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Deadline: August

Amount: $5,000

Eligibility: Women majoring in business or a related field can apply for this scholarship. You may also apply if you're an online student at an accredited college. To qualify, you must be in at least your second year of undergrad. Grad students may also apply.

Young Women in Public Affairs Award

Deadline: Varies

Amount: $5,000

Eligibility: Female students between the ages of 16 and 19 can qualify for this scholarship. You must demonstrate a commitment to volunteering, have experience in government or leadership, and have volunteer leadership.

Young Women in STEM Scholarship

Deadline: May

Amount: $5,000

Eligibility: Designed for young women pursuing STEM education, this scholarship awards funds to high school seniors and undergraduates. You'll need to be a STEM major to qualify. The scholarship also sets income requirements for eligibility.

Where Can I Find Scholarships in New York?

Funding a college education can be challenging. Maximizing the number of scholarships you earn can help offset the cost of tuition.

Here are some resources you can use to help you find New York scholarships:

  • School Counselor: Your school counselor should have resources for searching for and finding scholarships.
  • State Resources: New York state offers resources like the Higher Education Services Corporation that consolidates state scholarship and financial aid information.
  • College Websites: Most universities have a page on their websites dedicated to scholarship information, including specific college scholarships and other financial aid.
  • Local Organizations: Many local organizations, especially large businesses and nonprofits, offer scholarships. Search online or ask around to find out which organizations award scholarship money.
  • Scholarship Directories: Many websites compile scholarship information. For instance, the U.S. Department of Labor has a scholarship finder you can use for free.

What to Know About Scholarship Applications

Many scholarships in New York are need-based. Students who fill out the FAFSA may automatically be considered for certain scholarship opportunities. For New York scholarships, you might have to prove your residency of 12 or more consecutive months in the state through tax records or property tax information.

Depending on the scholarship, you might also be asked to send proof of a GPA minimum requirement. In addition, you might be asked to submit college entrance exam scores, an application essay, or letters of recommendation.

Tips for Applying for Scholarships

  • Apply for Small Awards: You might be tempted to shy away from small scholarships, but small scholarships tend to have less competition. Those small amounts can add up!
  • Create a Scholarship Folder: Many scholarships ask for similar information. Keeping your scholarship information organized in a folder can help you quickly get through scholarship applications.
  • Save Everything: Some scholarships require an essay. Saving your scholarship materials can allow you to tweak and cater your essay to each opportunity without completely rewriting it.
  • Stay Organized: Create a calendar of scholarship deadlines and prioritize them. Use a spreadsheet to track the scholarships you've applied for already and the ones you're still working on.
  • Start Early: Start your scholarship process early. Request letters of recommendation well in advance, and give yourself plenty of time to assemble and submit all necessary materials.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships in New York

What types of scholarships do New York colleges offer?

New York colleges offer multiple types of scholarships, including merit-based and need-based scholarships. You can qualify for a scholarship based on your major, leadership experience, and other factors.

The Excelsior Scholarship, for example, covers the cost of attending a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges. Reach out to your school's financial aid office to learn more about institutional scholarships.

How do I get a full scholarship in New York?

There are a few ways to earn a full scholarship for a New York college. Students who excel academically could earn a full scholarship to a college in New York. Typically, these students are at the very top of their graduating classes.

New York also offers scholarships like the Excelsior Scholarship, which pays for any uncovered tuition costs and allows students to attend college tuition-free. This scholarship stipulates that the recipient will live and work in New York for at least the equivalent amount of time they received the scholarship.

What New York colleges give students the most scholarships?

Multiple New York colleges award millions of dollars annually in scholarship funds. For example, the SUNY and CUNY schools participate in the state-run Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition for eligible students. In 2020, this program awarded over $137 million in scholarships.

Many private schools also award institutional aid to students, including scholarships and grants. Contact schools to learn more about the net cost of attendance after financial aid.