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October 17, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Pace University’s new ‘Opportunity Scholarship’ responds to free public college tuition

Pace University announced a new scholarship for students from New York entering its Pforzheimer Honors College. The Opportunity Scholarship offers additional aid to students under similar terms to a state program that offers free in-state tuition at public colleges.

View of the Pace University campus from a student lounge at Alumni Hall. Photo by Ryan Deffenbaugh

The donor-funded scholarship will offer up to $5,000 to students who are New York state residents and come from a family with a gross income of $125,000 or less.

Those qualifications are similar to the terms of the Excelsior Scholarship, the state program championed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that offers free in-state tuition at all SUNY and CUNY colleges for students from families making $125,000 or less. The scholarship provides qualifying students with additional funds to cover the cost of tuition left over after state and federal financial aid grants.

The program was adopted in last year’s state budget, despite the protests of private colleges that said it would create an uneven playing field.

Related: Colleges weigh uncertain impact of state’s Excelsior Scholarship debut

The new Opportunity Scholarship would be in addition to existing scholarships for honors students, the school said. Pace noted that 92 percent of all its students receive some form of financial aid.

Pace is one of the relatively few private colleges participating in the state’s new Enhanced Tuition Awards program, which provides up to $6,000 in aid to students from New York attending participating private colleges and universities. The program was created partly in response to the concerns private colleges had with the Excelsior Scholarship, but only about a third of the state’s private institutions are participating.

Pace expects that about 20 percent of students entering its honors college will be eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship. Students need to be enrolled in the Honors College at Pace in their freshman year to qualify and can renew the scholarship each year by remaining in good standing with a grade point average above 3.0.

Pace enrolls about 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs across campuses in Westchester County and lower Manhattan.