Enrollment for state scholarship begins

JOHNSTOWN — The Excelsior Scholarship has opened for applications.

During Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger said the application process is underway from now until July 21.

The state program will see the college tuition cost paid for students whose families make less than $125,000 a year. Excelsior will be phased in over three years, beginning for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually in the fall of 2017, increasing to $110,000 in 2018, and reaching $125,000 in 2019.

“It is a short window for people to apply for Excelsior Scholarships,” Swanger said.

Prospective awardees need to have already completed both their Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and state Tuition Assistance Program applications before the Excelsior application can be completed.

The Excelsior Scholarship only comes into play for a student after the state’s Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP, and Pell grants, have been accounted for.

Award recipients are eligible to get the award for two years for an associates degree or four years for a bachelor’s degree. Five year awards are available if a program of study normally requires five years in a program leading to a bachelor’s degree.

Students must be enrolled in classes full-time, and must live in-state for the length of time they received the award.

If a student fails to meet the program requirements, the award will be converted into a no-interest loan.

The awards only cover tuition, and students are responsible for other costs such as room and board, books and various fees.

Applications for the scholarship can be submitted at: hesc.ny.gov/excelsior.

Also durng the meeting, Swanger said the college has also met with Maria College in Albany about the possibility of opening an LPN program at FM’s campus.

Swanger said there are a number of details to work out, but Maria College is interested in working with FMCC.

In Nov. 2016, FMCC began considering a LPN program at the college.

“There is a need and we are happy to have that discussion with Maria College,” Swanger said.

The college has had a Registered Nursing program for a number of years, but not an LPN program.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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