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Stay on Long Island Initiative Scholarship FAQ

Q.   My cumulative GPA is below the minimum GPA required (3.75 for SoLII and 3.7 for NYSPT) but my major/program meets the minimum requirements. Can I still apply for NYSPT or the SoLII scholarships?
A.   In most cases, no. The partner colleges have set the minimum cumulative GPA of 3.75 for SoLII and 3.7 for the NYSPT scholarship. However, you should contact your campus SoLII/NYSPT scholarship representative, as occasionally certain partner colleges are willing to offer a scholarship to an outstanding student who does not quite make the GPA cutoff.

Q.   I will graduate from SUNY Suffolk in a semester other than spring (fall, winter, summer). Am I eligible for a SoLII or the NYSPT Scholarship?
A.   Maybe. While most of the full-tuition awards are made to spring graduates, a limited number of the colleges will make full-tuition awards to fall graduates who will matriculate in the spring. Check each college's partner page on our site for awards being offered. If you have graduated within the past academic year, you are welcome to apply for the fall or spring scholarships as long as you haven't attended any four-year school in the interim.

Q.   I will walk in the May graduation ceremony, but I still have one summer class to take, am I still eligible?
A.   No, all courses must be completed by graduation in order to be eligible.

Q.   I am a part-time student. Am I eligible for a Stay on Long Island Initiative or a New York State Presidential Transfer Scholarship?
A.   Yes.  A part-time student at SUNY Suffolk is eligible if he/she is planning to attend the partner college as a full-time student.

Q.   I am planning on taking classes online when I transfer. Am I eligible for a Stay on Long Island Initiative or a New York State Presidential Transfer Scholarship?
A.   Maybe. If you are planning on taking all of your classes online or plan to enroll in an online curriculum, you are not eligible. Our partner colleges expect the scholarship recipients to be active students on campus. However, you may be able to take a class or two online, as long as the majority of your classes are on campus.

Q.   If I only take 12 credits each semester, I will not be able to obtain my bachelor's degree in two years. Will the scholarship extend until the degree is earned?
A.   Depending on the college, the scholarships will last from two to three years. Check each college's partner page for the length of the award, minimum GPA, and any additional requirements that must be met for the award to be renewed.

Q.   I am planning on transferring before I graduate from SUNY Suffolk. Am I still eligible for one of these scholarships?
A.   No. The Stay on Long Island Initiative and the New York State Presidential Transfer scholarships reward the tenacity of degree completion and are awarded only to graduates of Suffolk County Community College.

Q.   Do I have to file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?
A.   You do not have to file a FAFSA in order to apply for the SoLII and/or NYSPT scholarships.  However, most partner schools require students to fill out a FAFSA for admission, or before being selected to receive the SoLII/NYSPT scholarship.  Check each college's partner page for specific requirements.

Q.   Can I apply for SoLII or NYSPT if I am not a US citizen/permanent resident?
A.   Yes, you may apply. However, most partner schools are unable to accept international students, and some require applicants to fill out a FAFSA for admission, or before being selected to receive the SoLII/NYSPT scholarship. Check each college's partner web page for specific requirements. 

Q.   Whom should I ask for letters of recommendation?
A.   Your first letter must be from someone employed by Suffolk County Community College (preferably a professor). The second letter can come from anyone else: another professor, club advisor, internship supervisor, or supervisor/employer who can write about your accomplishments either inside or outside of the classroom.

Q.   How should I have my letters of recommendation submitted?
A.   Recommendations should be emailed to SoLII scholarship and/or NYSPT scholarship. If you are applying to both scholarships, your recommenders must send the letters to BOTH email addresses. Additionally, emails from SUNY Suffolk employees must be emailed from their faculty email account to the SoLII and/or NYSPT scholarship email account(s). If you are requesting a recommendation from someone other than a SUNY Suffolk employee, that person must email the recommendation from his or her official organization email account. Emails from yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc. will not be accepted. If your recommender does not have an official email address, please contact your SoLII/NYSPT campus liaison for further directions.

Q.   Can I request more than the required two (2) letters of recommendation?
A.   Yes. However, only the first two letters received will be attached to your application. All subsequent letters will not be reviewed.

Q.   Should I rank order my colleges on the application? Would it make a difference?
A.   No. Your essay(s) on which college(s) you want to apply to will be used to rank your application for each specific college. If you are a finalist, your application will be formatted so that the partner colleges will not be sent essays about colleges other than their own.

Q.   How will the decision on the awards be made?
A.   Campus committees review all applications and send forward semi-finalists to the SUNY Suffolk President. The president then selects three finalists for each award to send to the SoLII and NYSPT Scholarship partner colleges for final consideration.