By Melissa Korn
New York state budgeted $87 million to fund its new Excelsior Scholarship this year so that roughly 23,000 students could attend public colleges tuition-free.
The wrinkle: More than three times as many students applied for the award.
The state says there won’t be a shortfall in the end. It expects some of the applicants won’t be eligible for the grant by the time funds are disbursed to schools at the end of the semester, as their grades may not be up to snuff, family income is too high or they will drop their commitment to stay in-state after graduation.
“We still think our estimates are going to be close to what the accepted application rate is going to be,” said New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica, citing rates of ineligibility for a more established tuition assistance program.
Still, Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University, said the outsized demand on limited state funds “will leave some students scrambling.”
While those with significant financial need still have access to federal and other state grants, many were banking on the Excelsior award to ease the financial burden of attending college.
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Source: The Wall Street Journal (via The Empire Report)