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 mentoring and college readiness preparation through the completion of high school. Upon graduation, students are able to attend SUNY Ulster tuition-free for two years!





To apply, students must be in 8th-grade. Students must also 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 ongoing public health crisis, the timeline and process for applications, interviews, and scholarship awards may be adjusted to ensure we meet school district policies and schedules. Here is the past application 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 college readiness activities throughout high school

PCS Student Experience

Starting in 9th-grade, PCS recipients take the PCS Promise as well as work with a PCS College Mentor (comprised of members of the SUNY Ulster Enrollment and Success Center team). Mentors, assigned to support PCS students from a participating high school, meet with students on campus, at the schools and online. In addition to motivating students to remain on the college-bound track, the PCS College Mentor will assist with college readiness skills like academic planning, communication, and career exploration, as well as other engagement and growth opportunities as the program expands. 

Access your school district's PCS Application:

The application period for 2021 has closed. Please check back in April 2022 when we look to award the next 50 scholarships to 8th-grade students across Ulster County!

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






Upcoming Events