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Elmira College is about giving you opportunities….and ensuring that every opportunity is affordable.

Immerse yourself in everything our campus has to offer through an expanded commitment to access and affordability. With one of the lowest tuition prices of any four-year private college in the region, Elmira College has established itself as an affordable choice for students seeking a high-quality education. Even our admission application is free. The only expense is the time it takes to complete it. We do this because we know an opportunity that students can’t afford isn’t really an opportunity at all.

For new first-time students entering Elmira College, we are proud to share the Soaring Eagles Take Flight Initiative. Under this new program, Elmira College will cover out-of-pocket costs for undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees for new eligible incoming undergraduate New York State students. That’s free tuition for New York State residents to attend a premier private College.

By choosing EC, you’re already getting a great value for a high quality education that has produced leaders in business, innovative researchers, and compassionate educators. With our Take Flight commitment, we also want to ensure that no matter your economic background or life experience, you can join our close-knit Soaring Eagle family.     

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Curious about this new program? Check out our frequently asked questions to find out more.

Who is eligible?

New undergraduate students entering Elmira College who are New York State residents will automatically qualify for the award if they have a family income of $50,000 or less and typical assets (based on 2022 federal income and tax filings). You must be a New York State resident as determined by TAP eligibility guidelines* and file the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify.

What are the academic requirements for the Take Flight Initiative?

Simple acceptance to the College through the application process is all it takes to be academically eligible for inclusion in the program. There are no GPA requirements or standardized test scores.

How do I apply?

Students who meet the academic, state residency, and financial criteria will automatically receive the Take Flight benefit. Beyond completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and NYS TAP grant application, there are no additional steps or applications to complete.

Is there a deadline for applicants to be eligible for the Take Flight Initiative?

There are no formal deadlines for the program; however, in order to ensure that your application and award is fully considered, we encourage students to complete their application for admission, FAFSA, and NYS TAP grant application as soon as possible. Note that the 2024 FAFSA isn’t expected to be available until March 2024 at the earliest.

What impact will my other aid have on this program?

Take Flight guarantees eligible students will receive last-dollar grant or scholarship funding to cover tuition and mandatory fees not covered by other programs or awards. If other programs or awards are covering all of your tuition and mandatory fees already, then you will not be eligible for additional aid under this program as you are already receiving the intended benefit.

If my residency changes, will I lose funding?

Yes, this commitment is only available to New York State residents.

I qualify for NYS residency due to my military affiliation. Am I eligible?


Does the Take Flight Initiative apply to students looking to transfer to Elmira College?

The Take Flight initiative is not currently available for transfer students; however, Elmira College has generous financial aid packages available for transfer students. Take a look at Elmira’s streamlined Transfer process for a quick admission decision and discuss your financial aid options with one of our counselors. The only exception is for students from New York colleges or universities that are closing if the student is enrolling full-time for the fall 2024 term.

I receive a third-party tuition benefit and my family income is in the eligible range. Do I qualify?

If your tuition and mandatory fees are entirely covered by a third party, such as veteran’s educational benefits or an employer agreement, you would not be eligible for Take Flight. The Take Flight Initiative is intended to cover tuition and mandatory fee costs not otherwise covered by scholarships, grants, or third-party awards.

Does my award automatically renew? If my family income changes, do I still qualify for the benefit in subsequent years?

As with most need-based financial aid programs, if you receive a substantial change in income, your eligibility for this program could be affected. Barring an increase in annual income, you will be eligible for the Take Flight Initiative for four years while enrolled full-time at Elmira College.

*Guidelines for New York State residency
  • Be a legal resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma by passing a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) formally known as a GED, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
  • Be in good academic standing with at least a "C" average after the 4th semester 
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student
  • Not be in default on any state or federal student loans and not be in default on any repayment of State awards

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