Excelsior Award Calculation Guidance Document

1. When should 2016-17 tuition be charged?

For recipients appearing on the Student Status Listing, 2016-17 tuition should be charged if at the date that the student incurs a full tuition liability (Note: this may be referred to as the drop/add deadline date or certification status date if that's the date when the school determines enrollment status for financial aid purposes):

  1. There is a remaining tuition charge after deducting all required financial aid from the 2016-17 tuition rate (i.e., all federal/state/institutional or private student financial aid other than loans, work study, or awards designated for non-tuition expenses)
  2. The recipient is enrolled in 12 credits in his/her first fall or spring term of the 365-day period.

A recipient who, after the above identified full tuition liability date, receives additional financial aid which brings his or her Excelsior award amount down to zero, must continue to be charged the 2016-17 tuition rate for the subsequent spring or fall term within the 365-day period.

A recipient who, after the above identified full tuition liability date, drops below 12 credits must continue to be charged the 2016-17 tuition rate for the subsequent spring or fall term within the 365-day period.

A recipient who, after the above identified full tuition liability date, loses an award for any reason but remains enrolled at the institution, must continue to be charged the 2016-17 tuition rate for the subsequent spring or fall term within the 365-day period.

A recipient who initially received a zero award (and was, therefore, charged the 2017-18 tuition rate) and who incurs a tuition liability after the above identified full tuition liability date due to the loss of federal/state/institutional or private financial aid, must be charged the 2016-17 tuition rate if he or she is now eligible to receive an Excelsior award payment.

2. When should 2017-18 tuition be charged?

For recipients appearing on the Student Status Listing, 2017-18 tuition should be charged if at the date the student incurs a full tuition liability (Note: this may be referred to as the drop/add deadline date or certification status date if that's the date when the school determines enrollment status for financial aid purposes):

  • There is no remaining tuition charge after deducting all required financial aid from the 2016-17 tuition rate (i.e., all federal/state/institutional or private student financial aid other than loans, work study, or awards designated for non-tuition expenses).
  • The recipient is not enrolled in 12 credits in his/her first fall or spring term of the 365-day period.

A recipient who, before the above identified full tuition liability date, receives additional financial aid which brings his or her Excelsior award amount down to zero, must be charged the 2017-18 tuition rate.

A recipient who, before the above identified full tuition liability date, drops below 12 credits must be charged the 2017-18 tuition rate.

3. What tuition rate is an Excelsior Scholarship recipient charged for summer coursework?

  • The Excelsior Scholarship does not apply to summer courses. Therefore, a home college or host college should charge Excelsior Scholarship recipients the same summer or winter tuition rate charged to all other students.

4. How do we calculate the award?

  • In all instances, the award should be calculated for a term by deducting all applicable financial aid for the term from $3,235 (i.e., one-half of $6,470 annual tuition rate).
  • If the tuition liability remaining is greater than zero and less than or equal to $2,750 (i.e., one-half of annual $5,500 maximum award), the Excelsior Scholarship will cover the entire remaining tuition expense.
  • If the tuition liability remaining is greater than $2,750, the Excelsior Scholarship will cover $2,750 and the Excelsior tuition credit will cover the remaining tuition expenses, up to $485 (half of the $970 annual tuition credit).
  • Awards that may be unequally split between terms should be reflected as applied to each term (e.g., if a student will receive a $500 private scholarship in which $300 is awarded for the first term and $200 is awarded for the second term, the college should subtract $300 from the $3,235 tuition charge when calculating the first term Excelsior amount and subtract $200 from the $3,235 tuition charge when calculating the second term Excelsior amount.

5. Should supplemental assistance provided to Opportunity Program students be deducted when calculating the Excelsior Scholarship award amount?

  • Financial assistance paid to opportunity program students through the EOP, SEEK or College Discovery program should be deducted if the aid is used to pay the students' tuition expense. If such financial assistance is used for transportation, books or other nontuition expenses, it should not be deducted when calculating the Excelsior Scholarship award amount.

6. What if an Excelsior recipient withdraws from school?

  • An Excelsior recipient must be enrolled at an eligible public college or university to receive the award. A student who withdraws would be decertified at the end of the term and would lose future eligibility for failure to remain on-track to on-time completion, unless the college and HESC determines that the student is eligible for an allowable leave of absence.

7. Once a student is flagged as "Excelsior eligible," are there any conditions that would cause that to change?

  • A student who is flagged as Excelsior-eligible will continue to remain flagged as eligible unless (a) he or she failed to complete 30 credits within the 365-day period; or (b) he or she fails to meet income eligibility, residency, or other statutory eligibility requirements in a subsequent year.