Apply now for the New York State STEM full-tuition scholarship

by Grace

The deadline to apply for the newly introduced New York State STEM scholarship is August 14.

The NYS STEM Incentive Program provides a full SUNY or CUNY tuition scholarship for the top 10 percent of students in each New York State high school if they pursue a STEM degree in an associates or bachelor degree program and agree to work in a STEM field in New York State for 5 years after graduation.

The dual goals of the program include helping students pursue STEM careers and promoting the state’s economy.

Innovative programs like the STEM Incentive Awards will help students compete in academic fields essential to the future of our state and nation,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor William P. Kelly.

“Through this program, New York State is helping to foster a connection between a student’s interest in STEM and their ability to successfully pursue a STEM career,” said Elsa Magee, Acting President of New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the state agency that will administer the program. “These awards will encourage more of our most talented students to pursue their love of science, technology, engineering and math in New York State, which benefits our State economy directly and the global economy, generally.”

Failing to fulfill the program requirements can result in significant penalties.  For example, if a recipient does not complete the STEM degree or does not follow through after graduation on the requirement to work “full-time for five years in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math in New York State, while maintaining residency within the State”, he must pay back the award.

The full list of approved occupations includes farmers, computer programmers, web developers, actuaries, cartographers, engineers, and secondary and postsecondary science teachers.

There does seem to be some flexibility in the choice of occupations.


Related:  “Free tuition at New York state universities for top STEM students?” (Cost of College)


 Sarah Darville, “State launches STEM scholarship for SUNY, CUNY-bound grads”, Chalkbeat New York, May 6, 2014.

6 Responses to “Apply now for the New York State STEM full-tuition scholarship”

  1. One problem – you need to go to grad school in a lot of STEM disciplines. WHat happens if the kid goes to, say, Stanford’s PhD program after finishing the SUNY degree?


  2. Or what if the kid takes a job writing software for one of the big banks, and 2 years down the line, gets transferred out of state by the bank? I suspect this will mainly reward kids who want to go into teaching science in K12, which is not a bad thing, I guess.


  3. Your comments gave me a few thoughts.

    If I were a parent whose child took this scholarship, and if I could afford it, I would set aside tuition amounts and be prepared to refund the scholarship if the situation called for it.

    Will this attract the best and the brightest, who probably have other options and who might better understand the repercussions of this scholarship?

    How many kids are going to be stuck having to refund the award when they do not finish their STEM degree because they find it too challenging. The top 10% of graduates, considering the varying caliber of high schools across the state, can easily include many students not adequately prepared to to college work of any kind, much less STEM course work.


  4. I just took a look. It converts to a 10 year loan if you don’t fulfill the obligations. It says nothing about grad school. I personally would not advise any of my kids to apply for it, even though SUNY is a real option, because it is too restrictive on future plans.


  5. I predict changes to the rules once too many students get caught up in having to pay back the money.



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