Bill Text: NY A00601 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Expands eligibility for the New York state excelsior scholarship award to certain applicants enrolled on a part-time basis or in a BOCES or other approved vocational program; provides criteria for eligibility, and limits on amounts and durations for any such awards.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 21-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-03 - print number 601a [A00601 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-A00601-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         601--A

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                       (Prefiled)

                                     January 6, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced by M. of A. JACOBSON, TAYLOR, REYES, PICHARDO, CUSICK, SIMON,
          LAVINE,  SAYEGH,  NIOU,  WALLACE,  HYNDMAN, ABINANTI, LUPARDO, COLTON,
          BURKE, EPSTEIN, SEAWRIGHT, FRONTUS, McMAHON, CRUZ, KIM  --  read  once
          and  referred  to  the  Committee  on  Higher  Education  -- committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee

        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to  eligibility  for  the
          New York state excelsior scholarship for certain part-time applicants

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of section 669-h of  the  education
     2  law,  subdivisions  1 and 2 as amended by section 1 of part T of chapter
     3  56 of the laws of 2018 and subdivision 3 as added by section 1  of  part
     4  HHH of chapter 59 of the laws of 2017, are amended and a new subdivision
     5  2-a is added to read as follows:
     6    1.  Eligibility.  An  excelsior  scholarship award shall be made to an
     7  applicant who: (a) is matriculated in an approved program leading to  an
     8  undergraduate  degree  at  a New York state public institution of higher
     9  education, which for the purposes of  this  section  shall  include  all
    10  two-year  and four-year colleges operated by the state university of New
    11  York or the city university of New York; (b) if enrolled in (i) a public
    12  institution of higher education prior to application, has  completed  at
    13  least  [thirty]  twenty-four  combined credits per year if enrolled on a
    14  full-time basis or at least twelve combined credits per year if enrolled
    15  on a part-time basis following the student's start date, or  its  equiv-
    16  alent,  applicable to his or her program or programs of study or (ii) an
    17  institution of higher education prior to application, has  completed  at
    18  least  [thirty]  twenty-four  combined credits per year if enrolled on a
    19  full-time basis or at least twelve combined credits per year if enrolled
    20  on a part-time basis following the student's start date, or  its  equiv-

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05204-02-1

        A. 601--A                           2

     1  alent,  applicable  to his or her program or programs of study and which
     2  were accepted upon transfer to a public institution of higher education;
     3  (c) enrolls in at least twelve credits per  semester  and  completes  at
     4  least  [thirty]  twenty-four  combined credits per year if enrolled on a
     5  full-time basis or at least six credits if enrolled on a part-time basis
     6  following the student's start date, or its equivalent, applicable to his
     7  or her program or programs of study except in limited  circumstances  as
     8  prescribed  by  the  corporation in regulation.  Notwithstanding, in the
     9  student's last semester, the student may take at least one course needed
    10  to meet his or her graduation requirements and enroll  in  and  complete
    11  [at  least  twelve  credit  hours  or its equivalent] as many credits as
    12  required to obtain his or her degree.  For students who are disabled  as
    13  defined  by  the  Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 USC 12101,
    14  the corporation shall prescribe rules and regulations that allow  appli-
    15  cants  who  are  disabled  to  be eligible for an award pursuant to this
    16  section based on modified criteria; (d) has an adjusted gross income for
    17  the qualifying year, as such terms  are  defined  in  this  subdivision,
    18  equal  to or less than: (i) one hundred thirty-five thousand dollars for
    19  recipients  receiving  an  award  in  the   two   thousand   [seventeen]
    20  twenty-one--two  thousand  [eighteen] twenty-two academic year; (ii) one
    21  hundred [ten] fifty thousand dollars for recipients receiving  an  award
    22  in the two thousand [eighteen] twenty-two--two thousand [nineteen] twen-
    23  ty-three  academic year; and (iii) one hundred [twenty-five] fifty thou-
    24  sand dollars for recipients receiving  an  award  in  the  two  thousand
    25  [nineteen] twenty-three--two thousand [twenty] twenty-four academic year
    26  and  thereafter; and (e) complies with the applicable provisions of this
    27  article and all requirements promulgated  by  the  corporation  for  the
    28  administration  of the program. Adjusted gross income shall be the total
    29  of the combined adjusted gross income of the applicant  and  the  appli-
    30  cant's  parents or the applicant and the applicant's spouse, if married.
    31  Qualifying year shall be the adjusted gross income as  reported  on  the
    32  federal  income tax return, or as otherwise obtained by the corporation,
    33  for the calendar year coinciding with the tax year  established  by  the
    34  U.S.  department  of education to qualify applicants for federal student
    35  financial aid programs authorized by Title IV of  the  Higher  Education
    36  Act  of  nineteen hundred sixty-five, as amended, for the school year in
    37  which application for assistance  is  made.  Provided,  however,  if  an
    38  applicant  demonstrates  to the corporation that there has been a change
    39  in such applicant's adjusted gross income in the year(s)  subsequent  to
    40  the qualifying year which would qualify such applicant for an award, the
    41  corporation  shall  review  and  make a determination as to whether such
    42  applicant meets the requirement set  forth  in  paragraph  (d)  of  this
    43  subdivision  based  on such year. Provided, further that such change was
    44  caused by the death, permanent and total physical or mental  disability,
    45  divorce, or separation by judicial decree or pursuant to an agreement of
    46  separation  which is filed with a court of competent jurisdiction of any
    47  person whose income was required to be used to compute  the  applicant's
    48  total adjusted gross income.
    49    2.  Amount.  Within  amounts appropriated therefor and based on avail-
    50  ability of funds, awards shall be granted beginning with the  two  thou-
    51  sand [seventeen] twenty-one--two thousand [eighteen] twenty-two academic
    52  year  and  thereafter  to applicants that the corporation has determined
    53  are eligible to receive such awards. The corporation  shall  grant  such
    54  awards  for  full-time  students  in  an amount up to five thousand five
    55  hundred dollars or actual tuition, whichever is less and  for  part-time
    56  students  in an amount up to two thousand seven hundred fifty dollars or

        A. 601--A                           3

     1  actual tuition, whichever is less; provided, however, (a) a student  who
     2  receives educational grants and/or scholarships that cover the student's
     3  full  cost  of  attendance shall not be eligible for an award under this
     4  program; and (b) an award under this program shall be applied to tuition
     5  after  the application of payments received under the tuition assistance
     6  program pursuant to section six hundred  sixty-seven  of  this  subpart,
     7  tuition  credits  pursuant  to section six hundred eighty-nine-a of this
     8  article, federal Pell grant pursuant to section one thousand seventy  of
     9  title  twenty of the United States code, et. seq., and any other program
    10  that covers the cost of attendance unless  exclusively  for  non-tuition
    11  expenses,  and  the  award  under  this  program shall be reduced in the
    12  amount equal to such payments, provided that the  combined  benefits  do
    13  not  exceed  five thousand five hundred dollars. Upon notification of an
    14  award under this program, the institution  shall  defer  the  amount  of
    15  tuition. Notwithstanding paragraph h of subdivision two of section three
    16  hundred fifty-five and paragraph (a) of subdivision seven of section six
    17  thousand  two  hundred  six  of this chapter, and any other law, rule or
    18  regulation to the contrary, the undergraduate  tuition  charged  by  the
    19  institution  to recipients of an award shall not exceed the tuition rate
    20  established  by  the  institution  for  the   two   thousand   [sixteen]
    21  twenty--two  thousand  [seventeen]  twenty-one  academic  year provided,
    22  however, that in the two thousand [twenty-one]  twenty-three--two  thou-
    23  sand  [twenty-two] twenty-four academic year and every four years there-
    24  after, the undergraduate tuition charged by the institution  to  recipi-
    25  ents of an award shall be reset to equal the tuition rate established by
    26  the institution for the forthcoming academic year, provided further that
    27  the  tuition  credit  calculated pursuant to section six hundred eighty-
    28  nine-a of this article shall be applied toward the tuition rate  charged
    29  for recipients of an award under this program. Provided further that the
    30  state  university  of New York and the city university of New York shall
    31  provide an additional tuition credit to students receiving an  award  to
    32  cover the remaining cost of tuition.
    33    2-a.  In  the  event that for any reason, the student does not receive
    34  his or her two-year, four-year or five-year degree or complete the BOCES
    35  or vocational program referred to in paragraph (g) of  subdivision  four
    36  of  this  section, the student shall not suffer any penalty with respect
    37  to the scholarship received under the excelsior scholarship program.
    38    3. Duration. An eligible recipient shall not receive an award for more
    39  than [four] five academic years of full-time or ten  academic  years  of
    40  part-time undergraduate study for a four-year degree or [five] six full-
    41  time or twelve part-time academic years if the program of study normally
    42  requires  five  years.  An  eligible  recipient enrolled full-time in an
    43  eligible [two year] two-year program of study shall not receive an award
    44  for more than two and a half academic years and  an  eligible  recipient
    45  enrolled  part-time  in  an eligible two year program of study shall not
    46  receive an award for more than five academic  years.    Notwithstanding,
    47  such  duration  may  be  extended for an allowable interruption of study
    48  including, but not limited to, death of a family member, medical  leave,
    49  military  service, and parental leave, as established by the corporation
    50  in regulation.
    51    § 2. Subdivision 4 of section 669-h of the education law is amended by
    52  adding a new paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    53    (g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law  to  the  contrary,  an
    54  applicant  who satisfied all other requirements of this section shall be
    55  eligible to receive an award pursuant to this section if such  applicant
    56  is  enrolled  on at least a part-time basis or its equivalent in a board

        A. 601--A                           4

     1  of educational services (BOCES) or other approved vocational program  at
     2  a  SUNY or CUNY community college as determined by the applicable educa-
     3  tional authority. Within amounts  appropriated  therefor  and  based  on
     4  availability  of  funds,  awards shall be granted beginning with the two
     5  thousand twenty-one--two thousand twenty-two academic year and thereaft-
     6  er to applicants that the corporation has  determined  are  eligible  to
     7  receive such awards. The corporation shall grant such awards to eligible
     8  full-time and part-time students in accordance with subdivision three of
     9  this  section.  A recipient eligible for an award pursuant to this para-
    10  graph shall not receive an award for more than four  academic  years  of
    11  full-time  or eight academic years of part-time enrollment in such BOCES
    12  or other approved vocational program. Years enrolled are not required to
    13  be consecutive.
    14    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately and  shall  apply  to  any
    15  eligible applicant beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year.
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