Opinions

Excelsior Scholarship isn’t serving its purpose

Fewer CUNY students are receiving New York’s Excelsior Scholarship in comparison with SUNY students.

Only 20.7 percent of the 20,086 scholarships went to CUNY students, according to The New York Post, as they were deemed eligible for assistance, while the majority of the available scholarships were awarded to students who attend SUNY schools.

The Excelsior Scholarship should be evenly distributed among both CUNY and SUNY institutions in order to have more people attending college in general, without worrying about how they will pay their tuition.

The fact that more SUNY students are receiving the scholarship instead of CUNY students is evidence that the scholarship is not being distributed as effectively as it could be.

Changes need to be made in terms of the eligibility requirements for the scholarship, specifically in the number of credits students need to complete during the academic year, so that more people can receive it.

Full-time students are those who are enrolled in at least 12 credits each semester and complete at least 30 credits in an academic year, according to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.

However, there is a great number of students in New York City who cannot attend school as full-time students because they simply don’t have the time or the money to attend.

These students don’t have time because they are people who are working part time or full time in order to make ends meet.

The Excelsior Scholarship should take these students into account and provide them with a scholarship to attend a SUNY, CUNY or community college tuition-free.

However, there is the issue that CUNY students already receive financial aid from other programs, which is why some argue that they should be deemed ineligible for the scholarship.

While this may be the case for some students, it doesn’t apply to all who need the extra help. College should be free to those who cannot afford it — it shouldn’t be free for everyone.

For the students who struggle financially, there should be additional assistance to provide them with the economic help needed in order to acquire a proper higher education.

The Excelsior Scholarship was established with this purpose in mind.

Excelsior is depicted as something greater than it actually is, specifically for those who find themselves in the situation of needing it but not having it at all.

The scholarship helps out more SUNY than CUNY students, leaving out a significant number of people wanting to attend CUNY four-year schools and community colleges.

Therefore, the eligibility requirements should be made more flexible for part-time and financially unstable students.

This way, more CUNY students can be deemed eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship and it can be distributed more effectively.

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September 13, 2018

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