Applying for the President’s Challenge Scholarship

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors from our local community and beyond, the President’s Challenge Scholarship assists first-generation Ulster County high school students with overcoming financial barriers associated with attending college. Students are identified in eighth grade by their sponsoring school district and receive guidance counseling and mentoring through the completion of high school. Upon graduation from high school, students are able to attend SUNY Ulster tuition-free for two years!



To apply, students must be first-generation college students, have an 80% cumulative GPA (75% in their four core classes – English, math, science and social studies) and have an 85% or better attendance record in school with minimal discipline infractions. Preference is given to students with economic need.



This year due to the COVID-19 crisis, the application period for 2020 awards will be extended. The timeline for interviews, the selection process and moving-up ceremonies will also be adjusted to ensure we meet CDC approved social distancing guidelines and the schedules of our school districts in the future. Here is the past application and selection process for reference:

  • Applicants must submit an application and essay prior to the deadline set by the school district, which is typically in the spring of a student’s 8th-grade year.
  • Each school reviews the application materials and identifies the top 10 candidates for their district.
  • These candidates are invited to participate in a brief interview at the high school with members of the school district and SUNY Ulster.
  • Five scholarship recipients are selected after the interview process.
  • Recipients are notified shortly before their Moving-Up Ceremony in June.
  • PCS recipients participate in activities on the SUNY Ulster Campus and at their high schools starting in 9th grade and throughout high school to support college readiness.

To access your school district's PCS Application, please click on the appropriate link below. For more information or to request a paper application, contact PCS Program Coordinator Nancy Clarke by phone at 845.688.1927 or by email at 


The application process for the following schools will reopen in April 2021.

  • Ellenville Central School District
  • Kingston City School District (J. Watson Bailey Middle School)
  • Kingston City School District (M. Clifford Miller Middle School)
  • Marlboro Central School District
  • New Paltz Central School District
  • Rondout Valley Central School District
  • Saugerties Central School District
  • Wallkill Central School District

For more information or to request a paper application, contact PCS Program Coordinator Nancy Clarke by phone at 845.688.1927 or by email at 






Upcoming Events