New Masters-In-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship


Program for future top educators

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program began accepting applications on May 26. The program provides a full SUNY or CUNY tuition scholarship to high-achieving college undergraduates or professionals for their master’s studies in education. Up to 500 new awards will be granted annually for two academic years of full-time study.

“Expanding access to higher education today will help foster top notch talent to be the educators of tomorrow,” Governor Cuomo said. “This program will help ensure that our future teachers have access to the resources necessary to become leaders in the classroom and continue to shape and inspire students across New York for years to come.”

Honorees must be New York State residents and have maintained a grade point average of 3.5 or higher at a college or university located in the state. Recipients must agree to teach at a public elementary or secondary school in the state for five years after completing their degree.

“The launch of the Governor’s Masters-in-Education scholarship, coupled with the launch of TeachNY, offers our future teachers unprecedented financial and professional support to ensure their success,” said New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Acting President Elsa Magee. “This scholarship will help provide a pool of top teacher candidates at the time the State’s need for teachers is growing.”

“The need for teacher recruitment and retention is at an all-time high in New York State, as we face a significant and growing teacher shortage,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Governor Cuomo’s Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program is an excellent complement to TeachNY, one that is certain to bring more excellent teachers to New York’s classrooms and students. SUNY is proud to be a part of this important initiative, and we look forward to welcoming the inaugural recipients to SUNY campuses throughout New York State.”

“I commend Governor Cuomo for this timely and important initiative to support New York’s future educators,” said CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken. “The City University of New York has long recognized the importance of teacher preparation and retention, and CUNY is the largest provider of public school teachers for New York City. The Masters-in-Education Program demonstrates the State’s commitment to supporting high-quality preparation for the next generation of New York teachers.”


An applicant must:

  • be a legal resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months;
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • have received an undergraduate degree from a college/university located in NYS and have been a NYS resident while earning this degree;
  • have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher upon completion of his or her undergraduate study;
  • be matriculated in an approved master’s degree in education program at a SUNY or CUNY college or university that leads to a career as a public elementary or secondary education teacher;
  • be enrolled in such program on a full-time basis;
  • not be in default on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or repayment of any NYS award;
  • be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award; and
  • execute a Service Contract agreeing to teach for five years in a classroom at a public elementary or secondary school, including charter schools, located in NYS.

Award Amount

A recipient will receive an annual award equal to the annual full-time tuition charged to NYS resident students attending a graduate program at SUNY or CUNY. The maximum annual award for the 2016-17 academic year is $10,870 or actual tuition, whichever is less.
Awards will be reduced by the amount of any other tuition-only assistance award received. Awards will be made under this program based on available funding. A recipient of an award under this program is not eligible for an award under the New York State Math and Science Teaching Incentive Program.

Any award payment received may have tax implications. Any questions regarding this should be directed to a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.

Recipient Selection

Up to 500 awards will be granted to new recipients annually. For the 2016-17 academic year, recipients will be chosen by rank based on the applicant’s cumulative grade point average earned for his/her undergraduate degree. Thereafter, first priority will be given to prior recipients, with second priority given to new applicants. If there are more applicants than available funding, awards will be made by lottery.


A recipient is entitled to a maximum of four semester payments or its equivalent for full-time graduate study leading to certification as an elementary or secondary classroom teacher.

How to Apply

The deadline for the 2016 NYS Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program has passed. The application for the 2017 series will be available in May, 2017.

How to Request Payment

Award recipients do not have to submit another NYS Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program Application. To receive payment, recipients must complete the Payment of State Grants, Scholarships and Awards Application each year. Awards will be paid directly to the schools on behalf of students upon the successful completion of each term.

Contact the scholarship unit at or 888-697-4372 with any questions regarding this program.


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