Zina Kumok Image Written By: Zina Kumok | Edited By: Kevin Ladd | Updated: July 20, 2024

New York Scholarships

New York City Statue of Liberty

Most people know that living in New York, especially New York City, is expensive compared to the rest of the country. And few people know that better than college students. That’s where New York scholarships can help. These scholarships are given to students who are either from the Empire State or who are going to school there. They can be used to cover tuition, room and board, textbooks, fees and other expenses.

Continue reading the article below the scholarship list.

25 New York Scholarships with Approaching Deadlines

Interested in New York scholarships? Keep reading to learn where to find them, how to apply and how to maximize your chances of getting one.

What is a New York Scholarship?

A New York scholarship refers to a scholarship that is given to a college student who is either from New York or who attends school in New York. New York scholarships and grants don’t have to be paid back after graduation, so they’re the best way to fund your education.

Scholarships don’t just fall into your lap; you have to actively search and apply for them. One of the best ways to find scholarships is to look for ones that are particular to your interests, skills and other attributes. Geographic-based scholarships, like New York scholarships, are a perfect example of one way to narrow your search and find the most attractive scholarships.

Where to find New York Scholarships

If you’re already enrolled in college, your financial aid department should have information about different scholarships you can apply for. Also, your department’s academic advisor may also have ideas on how to find scholarships for your specific major. You can also ask professors, supervisors and other adults you know about potential scholarships.

The New York State Department of Education is also a good starting spot for scholarships. Just be aware that you should also take the time to do your own research. Start by writing down a list of everything about you, from where you live to what you want to study. Then, do a Google search for those adjectives plus the word “scholarship.”

For example, if you’re part of the marching band and/or play an instrument, look up “music scholarships.” You can even get more granular and look up “New York music scholarships.”

Rinse and repeat this process for all the words on your list. If you’re having trouble brainstorming, talk to a parent, teacher or coach to see if they can help you come up with a list.

How to apply for New York scholarships

Applying for a New York scholarship is similar to applying for any other kind of award. As always, you should make sure you understand the eligibility rules and requirements. Geographic scholarships often have specific residency requirements.

For example, you may have to have been a New York resident for a certain period of time to be eligible. These types of scholarships may also require that you attend school in New York.

Once you determine that you are eligible, read through the required documents. Many New York scholarships require at least one essay and a letter of recommendation. Applying for a scholarship can take time because you have to gather all of the necessary documents, write your essay and wait for someone to write a letter of recommendation.

Try to give yourself plenty of time to complete the application and start as early as possible. The more time you give yourself, the less likely it is that you’ll make a mistake that could get you disqualified.

Many scholarships require that students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the overarching form that gives students access to federal financial aid, such as federal student loans, grants and work-study.

What most students don’t know is that many scholarships also use the FAFSA to determine eligibility. This is most common with need-based scholarships, but also comes up with merit-based awards. Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for need-based aid, you should always fill out the FAFSA.

Some even require that students submit the CSS Profile, which is another kind of college financial aid form. Many scholarships will have their own form with other questions.

New York Scholarship FAQs

New York scholarships can vary widely. If you’re curious about starting the search for a New York scholarship, read below to see the most common questions:

Are there New York scholarships for certain minority groups?

There are many New York scholarships available for students who belong to a minority or underrepresented group.

Thanks to the Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act, undocumented students can qualify for special financial aid in New York. Students must have attended high school in New York to qualify. This award is available for both undergraduate and graduate students.

There are also some scholarships designated for specific groups of people who aren’t necessarily part of a minority. For example, CUNY offers a World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship, which provides four years of tuition, room and board and more if you, your spouse or parent were a victim of the 9/11 terrorism attacks. This scholarship is available for any CUNY school.

Do you have to attend a public school in New York to get a New York scholarship?

New York scholarships usually don’t have a specific restriction on the type of school you can attend. However, this depends on the specific scholarship so double-check the rules before applying.

For example, the Excelsior Program offers free tuition only if you’re attending a CUNY or SUNY public school. Many private New York colleges have their own special scholarships.

Do you have to attend school in New York to win a New York scholarship?

While some New York scholarships require that students be New York residents and attend school in-state, others are more forgiving. For example, the Discover Penn State Award is given to a student who wants to attend Penn State and is from one of the following states:

If you receive a New York scholarship that requires you stay in state, make sure you consider that when deciding where to attend.

Do you have to be from New York to win a New York scholarship?

While the term “New York scholarship” makes it sound like you must be a resident to apply, this isn’t necessarily true. Not all New York scholarships require that you be a current resident to qualify.

For example, the New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) organization offers a scholarship for female students receiving their bachelor’s or master’s degree. They must be majoring in communications. Students can either be attending school in New York or be from New York, Connecticut or Pennsylvania.

What are the best New York scholarships?

There are many generous scholarship programs based in New York. One of the best options is the Excelsior Program which is available to students whose families meet certain income requirements (currently household income below $125,000). If you qualify, then you can attend a public college in the state of New York for free.

Students must be New York residents and plan to attend a State of New York (SUNY) or City of New York (CUNY) school. Also, you have to stay in the state after graduation for the same number of years that you received the scholarship. Students attending both two-year and four-year schools are eligible.

Are there scholarships for students from specific New York counties or cities?

Many New York scholarships are open to students who live in any part of the Empire State, but there are also more hyper-local scholarships. These localized scholarships can be given to a student from a specific county, city or metro area.

For example, the Central New York STEM Scholarship is available to students from Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego and Tompkins counties. They must also be majoring in a STEM field.

You should do your own Google research for scholarships for students from your specific city, county and metro area. This can help you find scholarships that may be easier to win. Remember, the more specific the scholarship, the greater your chance of winning, provided that you meet all eligibility criteria.

Are New York scholarships available for community college students?

Community college is usually less expensive than a four-year institution. However, students should still try to find scholarships to minimize the cost. Scholarships for community college, vocational school and technical college may be less readily available than other awards, but they’re still out there.

For example, the Marcy Houses Memorial Scholarship Fund is given to a student who lives in the Marcy Houses, which is a government housing unit that is part of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). To be eligible, students can attend a two- or four-year institution.

Are New York scholarships available for graduate or professional students?

Some awards are specifically designated for graduate students only, while others are available for both undergraduate and graduate students.

If you’re already in graduate or professional school, ask your department’s advisor or financial aid office if there are any scholarships you might be eligible for. They may have a running list of awards that students can apply for.

For example, New York Law School offers a full tuition scholarship, the Wilf Impact Public Interest Scholars Program. This scholarship is available to students who are interested in social justice and plan to serve the community with their law degree.

Are there specific New York scholarships for certain majors or degrees?

New York scholarships can range from extremely broad to narrow - all depending on the scholarship organization or company making the award. While general New York scholarships can be helpful for students who are unsure of what they want to study, specific scholarships can be more useful if you know what you want to major in.

For example, the LIFGA Scholarship is given to a student who is studying ornamental horticulture at a two- or four-year college. Applicants must be from the Long Island or New York area to be eligible.

Also, the James F. Reville Scholarship is given to a student who is a resident of New York and who wants to work with individuals who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Can I get a New York scholarship if I’m an international student?

While international students often don’t qualify for federal or state-based financial aid, they may still be eligible for scholarships and grants. Individual schools, however, are more likely to offer scholarships for international students.

For example, New York University (NYU) offers an International Student Scholarship that is worth between $5,000 and $10,000. Students must be receiving their master’s in Global Affairs or in Global Security, Conflict and Cybercrime.

When applying to a school as an international student, reach out to the financial aid office and ask if you are eligible for any scholarships. They can let you know what you can apply for. Some schools also offer tuition waivers to international students, which will substantially lower the cost of tuition.

Will I lose my New York scholarship if I transfer to a different school?

Some New York scholarships are linked to where you go to school and where you live. If you transfer to a school out of state, then you may lose access to that award.

Also, some awards are only eligible for certain types of schools.

Before transferring, talk to the scholarship coordinator and figure out what will happen if you transfer. You may want to calculate what your new expenses will be if you do lose access to some of your New York scholarships.