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Excelsior Scholarship

June 11, 2019 - 4:29pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, GCC, news, education, Excelsior Scholarship, notify.

Genesee Community College President James Sunser made clear the college’s frustration with the New York State Excelsior Scholarship.

Last Wednesday, the Ways & Means Committee was surprised when Sunser told them, “The Excelsior Scholarship did not help us … It’s a very stringent program. If students don’t make the grade, they lose it forever.”

Sunser spoke about the strings attached to the award. Excelsior recipients must meet minimum grade requirements and plan to reside and work in-state for the length of time they received the scholarship. Otherwise, their awards revert to costly loans.

“The way that the Excelsior program works is that when you hit the income threshold, you get that tuition paid,” Sunser explained.

In other words, students with families earning gross incomes of $125,000 or less can receive full tuition to SUNY two- or four-year colleges.

According to Sunser, “When you tell a family that’s making $125,000 that you can go to any of these institutions that’ll accept you, then that becomes a problem” because students tend to choose four-year schools rather than local community colleges.

The declining population and smaller graduating high school classes in Upstate New York have also reduced GCC enrollment, therefore revenue. Between Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 alone, the undergraduate enrollment at GCC dropped from 5,900 to 5,530 students.

These numbers beg the question of whether the Excelsior Scholarship actually brings in more students to enjoy county and college investments. GCC leaders say the answer is no.

The lower enrollment factored into the 2019–20 GCC annual budget, which will increase slightly, .01 percent ($4,000) to approximately $40.2 million.

This year, the college is seeking additional local support, which has remained flat since 2015-16:

  • A $50,000 increase in annual county support to GCC;

  • A one-time $100,000 allocation for the college's Criminal Justice and Veterinary Tech surgical labs.

The Ways & Means Committee voted in favor of setting up and conducting the required public hearing on the college's budget request, at a date to be announced later.

At its next meeting at 4:30 p.m. on June 19, the two-part funding request will be discussed by the Ways & Means Committee.

Sunser said GCC will raise its full-time tuition by $100 per semester, totaling $4,350. Students should also be aware that there will be a $10 increase per credit hour for part-time student tuition, which totals $180 per credit hour.

He said he hopes the fact that GCC is one of the most affordable options among area community colleges is enough to counter the downfalls of the Excelsior Scholarship and draw students back to higher education in Genesee County.

July 18, 2017 - 5:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Excelsior Scholarship, education, news, batavia.

Press release:

Officials at Genesee Community College would like to remind local citizens that the deadline for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship Program is this Friday, July 21, with all applications for the 2017-2018 academic year due.

Qualified students interested in taking advantage of the program for the upcoming fall semester must:

  • Be residents of New York State;
  • Plan to attend a SUNY (or CUNY) two- or four-year degree program;
  • Maintain good academic standing;
  • Complete 30 credits per year and make timely progress toward graduation;
  • Be on track to graduate with an associate degree in two years or a bachelor's degree in four years.

To apply, new or returning college students must have copies of their 2015 New York State income tax return(s), current unofficial academic transcript showing credits earned each year, and the most recent financial aid package and/or 2017-2018 Student Aid Report (SAR) available will aid in the application process.

When fully implemented, the Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other aid programs, is expected to allow 200,000 students to attend a State University of New York (SUNY) college tuition free. Tuition-free college can begin this fall 2017 semester for students whose families make up to $100,000 annually and extend to those making $125,000 annually by 2019.

To apply for the Excelsior Scholarship or obtain further information, visit www.HESC.ny.gov.

Alternatively, the new Student Success Center at GCC's Batavia Campus is now OPEN! New students can also attend a START (Student Testing Advisement Registration Tuition) Day to take care of all of the necessary steps to gain admittance to GCC. Students can meet with one of the College's new success coaches who offer assistance every step of the way! Anyone in need of assistance filing for FAFSA should bring 2015 tax information.

START Days are scheduled every Monday and Wednesday through July 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. at all GCC campus locations. To schedule an appointment, call the Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or the campus location nearest to you.

The fall semester at GCC officially begins on Monday, Aug. 21! The full semester of courses runs for 16 weeks, and classes are available at all of GCC's seven campus locations, as well as online.

With GCC's extensive offering of class times and locations, students of all ages can pick the right time, day or place that meets their needs and suits their schedules.

To apply online for classes at any Genesee Community College campus location, students can go to the College's Admission Web page at http://www.genesee.edu/Admissions or call the Admissions office at 585-345-6800.

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