Since 2022, the QUALITYstarsNY Scholarship has helped teachers and program leaders participating in QUALITYstarsNY advance their education and deepen their qualifications as professionals. Our colleagues at the Early Childhood Career Development Center, with the help of the investment of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), have proudly distributed more than 4,500 QUALITYstarsNY scholarships.

With the conclusion of the ARPA investment that made the QUALITYstarsNY Scholarship possible, QUALITYstarsNY and the Career Development Center have been working to determine the best way to support our scholarship applicants in an equitable way. We’re pleased to announce the launch of the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship next month and to tell you about some important updates and changes to the scholarship application process.

Visit the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship page on the QUALITYstarsNY website to learn more about the requirements and read our FAQ.

Tuition funding for one course per semester

Because we want to be able to support as many participants as possible, QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship funding will cover a maximum of two courses per year (one course each semester) for each scholarship recipient. QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship funding is available for tuition and fees for coursework. Books, workshops, certification and credential application fees are not covered.

QUALITYstarsNY will continue to cover fees for teacher certification exams and evaluations of foreign transcripts on a limited basis. Educators who wish to apply for funding for exam fees and foreign evaluations should apply through the workforce scholarship application.

QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship eligibility requirements

Educators who are interested in applying for the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship for the Fall 2024 semester must:

  • Be working 20 or more hours per week in a participating QUALITYstarsNY program in a teaching or leadership role.
  • Be a full-time or part-time student taking coursework in early childhood education at a CUNY or SUNY college.
  • Be using or have exhausted your Educational Incentive Program (EIP) funding, if eligible.
  • Have an active, current Aspire Registry ID number and profile.
  • Be in good standing with the Career Center (i.e., if you are currently a Career Center client, be up to date with required meetings, grade submissions, etc.).
  • Be prepared to meet with a Career Center advisor three times per semester.
  • Report your grades to the Career Center.
  • Have been continuously employed for at least 12 months at a QUALITYstarsNY program.*
*Multiple locations will count 
*Applicable only to tuition scholarships

Application deadline for Fall 2024 Semester: July 14, 2024

To make the application process more transparent and equitable to all applicants, applications for the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship for each semester will be reviewed during an application window rather than on a rolling basis. The application for the fall 2024 semester will open on July 1, 2024 and close on July 14, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Educators who plan to apply for funding for the fall 2024 semester must apply for the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship by July 14. The application for the spring 2025 semester will be available later this year.

Updated application process

To streamline the application process, the Career Development Center has created a separate online application especially for the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship. The application should take about 15-20 minutes to complete. Applicants should know their active, current Aspire Registry ID and, if they have it, proof of enrollment and estimated tuition fees.

The portal for the new application will open on July 1 on the Career Development Center’s QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship web page and the deadline to apply is July 14 for the fall 2024 semester.

Equitable application review

Career Center advisors will review applications as they are submitted to determine if applicants meet eligibility requirements for the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship. After the July 14 deadline, an independent panel of staff members at the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (which oversees the Career Center and QUALITYstarsNY) will review all applications using a rubric that considers different criteria gathered through the application process.

Past recipients of the QUALITYstarsNY Scholarship are not guaranteed funding for the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship. All applicants will be notified about their decision during the week of July 22, 2024.

What you can do now to prepare

  • Past recipients of the QUALITYstarsNY Scholarship are receiving an email from the Career Development Center with information about the new QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship. If you have staff members who have received QUALITYstarsNY Scholarship funding in the past, you can reach out to them to make sure they’re aware of the updated application window and eligibility requirements.
  • Review and share the QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship eligibility requirements and FAQ with your staff. Remember that the application deadline for the fall 2024 semester is July 14, 2024. The application for the spring 2025 semester will be available later this year.
  • Ensure that your organization account in the Aspire Registry accurately reflects your current staff list and their years of employment with your program. The Career Development Center needs to verify that QUALITYstarsNY Academic Scholarship applicants work in programs participating in QUALITYstarsNY.
  • Download the QUALITYstarsNY Scholarship flyer in English & Spanish to share with your staff.

You and your staff can schedule a one-on-one meeting with a career advisor to discuss other scholarship opportunities and funding options at any time.