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NY offers free tuition for STEM majors

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New York State (NYS) has a new full tuition scholarship for students interested in pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) major. This SUNY or CUNY incentive program for top-performing students who pursue and work in the STEM field in New York State for five years after graduation was announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on May 6, 2014 according to yesterday’s SUNY blog.

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The NYS STEM Incentive Program is being launched to meet the future needs of New York state and its college-bound residents. “By helping New York’s best and brightest students launch their careers in-state and in STEM fields, we are laying the foundation for a truly world-class workforce,” Governor Cuomo said as reported by the SUNY blog.

The incentive program was devised because “(a)cross New York, STEM careers are growing 2.5 times faster than those in any other field, and the Governor’s incentive program is a valuable opportunity for the next generation to fill the gap,” said SUNY Chancellor Zimpher according to the SUNY blog.

Eligibility
According to the program, beginning with the 2014 graduating class, eligible applicants must be ranked in the top 10% of his/her high school graduating class of a NYS high school. They must pursue a STEM degree in an associates or bachelor degree program at a SUNY or CUNY college full time in the fall term following graduation. They must earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher each term after the first semester.

Additionally, applicants must execute a service contract agreeing to reside and work in NYS for five years in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics after graduation. In return, recipients are entitled to an annual tuition scholarship award for up to four years.

Application
Applicants must complete and submit the New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Incentive Program Web Supplement by August 15. For more information, interested parents and students may go to New York State Higher Education Services (HESC) website or contact the Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372.

Since the STEM tuition scholarship is a long term commitment during college and for several years after graduation, applicants should be sure they are interested in the STEM field and continue to reside in the state of New York. Students may have to repay funds if they fail to fulfill scholarship requirements.

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