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Common Questions About our Scholarships

Find answers to commonly asked questions about Say Yes Buffalo’s scholarship program.

What expenses does the Buffalo Say Yes Tuition Scholarship cover?

This scholarship goes toward tuition only. It does not cover room and board, books and supplies, or fees.

How is my tuition award amount calculated?

Your Say Yes tuition award equals the amount left of your tuition balance after all Federal (FAFSA), State (NYS TAP) and tuition specific institutional aid has been deducted.

Is my child eligible to receive a full tuition scholarship?

The amount of the Buffalo Say Yes Tuition Scholarship for SUNY/CUNY schools is determined by the number of full consecutive years a student has attended a public or charter school in Buffalo. Refer to the chart below to determine tuition eligibility:

Entry grade in Buffalo public or charter school Percent of tuition that scholarship will cover
K 100%
1, 2, 3 95%
4, 5, 6 80%
7, 8, 9 65%

What does “last dollar scholarship” mean?

It means that the Say Yes scholarship will cover the remaining balance or a portion of the remaining balance, based on eligibility of a student’s tuition costs after state, federal, and/or tuition specific institutional grants and scholarships have been applied.

What are the income requirements for the Buffalo Say Yes Tuition Scholarship?

Students may enroll in most of the campuses of the State University of New York (SUNY) or the City University of New York (CUNY) system and be guaranteed that their tuition will be paid for by scholarships and/or grants regardless of family income.

The majority of the Say Yes Higher Education Compact private colleges limit the full tuition guarantee to admitted students with family incomes less than $75,000 per year (there are several exceptions—click to see the full list of private college partners and criteria). Students whose family incomes are greater than $75,000 per year may be eligible for the Say Yes Choice Grant.

What is the Say Yes Buffalo Choice Grant?

Students from families with annual income more than $75,000 who are attending a Say Yes Private Compact College may receive the Choice Grant. This grant offers up to $5,000 per year. Awards are determined by the difference between financial aid and the cost of full-time tuition. Choice Grants, when combined with state, federal, and institutional grants and scholarships, are not to exceed the cost of full-time undergraduate tuition.

What is the Say Yes Buffalo Opportunity Grant?

The Opportunity Grant may be awarded to eligible students enrolled at a SUNY or CUNY college who have received the maximum Federal Pell Grant and reside on campus. This grant offers up to $2,000 per year and can be used toward books, fees, or room and board.

If I am Say Yes eligible, do I still need to pay any deposit at my college?

Yes!! Deposits are still the responsibly of the student. If the student is eligible for a Pell grant and does not have the funding to pay the deposit, we recommend calling the college to request special consideration.

Are students who reside in Buffalo and attend a Buffalo private or Catholic high school eligible for the scholarship?

No, only students who attend public or charter schools in Buffalo, at a minimum from grades 9 – 12, are eligible.

How is continuous enrollment determined if the student starts in a public or charter school in Buffalo, leaves for a period of time, and then returns to a public or charter school in Buffalo?

The student will be eligible for a Say Yes scholarship based on the date s/he reenrolled in a public or charter school in Buffalo.

If a student enrolls in a public or charter school in Buffalo partway through 9th grade, is that student eligible for a Say Yes Buffalo scholarship?

No. Students need to be continuously enrolled from the very beginning of 9th grade.

Will students who attended a public or charter school in Buffalo and then transferred out of the district prior to high school graduation be eligible for a Say Yes Buffalo scholarship?

No.

If a student is a refugee who enrolled in public or charter schools in Buffalo after the beginning of 9th grade (i.e., does not meet the continuous enrollment requirements), is s/he eligible for a Say Yes scholarship?

Yes. Students who are legally designated as having refugee status are eligible providing they complete an appeal and furnish proof of I-94.

If a student graduates from high school early, is s/he eligible for a Say Yes scholarship?

Yes, providing the student meets all eligibility requirements, has been continuously enrolled in a public or charter school in Buffalo since at least 9th grade, and graduates in June of 2013 or later.

How do I apply for a Say Yes scholarship?

Click here and follow the steps listed to apply for a Say Yes scholarship.

Do students need to apply for Say Yes scholarships every year that they are in college?

No, you do not have to complete an application each year. However, students are required to login to your account and verify the accuracy of your information each year.

Can I transfer from one Say Yes college to another?

Yes. If you transfer, you are required to login to your account and update your college choice.

Can I take time off from college and still keep my Say Yes scholarship?

Yes, students can take up to one gap year or two noncontinuous semesters off of school and still maintain Say Yes eligibility. Once they return to school, their award is reinstated if in good academic standing. Please contact the Say Yes scholarship department to notify us of any change in enrollment status.

What does a student need to do to remain eligible for a Say Yes scholarship once they are admitted to college?

Students must:

  • Complete the Federal (FAFSA) and State (NYS TAP) aid applications and the verification process if applicable
  • Maintain satisfactory academic standing with your college
  • Meet Say Yes Buffalo’s satisfactory academic progress, defined as successfully completing a minimum of 12 credit hours for each semester (fall and spring) and maintaining a GPA of 2.0 or better each semester.

What happens if a student does not earn the required 12 credit hours and/or does not have a GPA of 2.0 or better?

A student’s academic record will be reviewed at the end of each semester. If a student completes less than 12 credit hours each semester and/or does not have a 2.0 GPA, s/he will be placed on academic probation for the following semester.  This student is still eligible for a Say Yes Buffalo scholarship award while on probation.

If at the end of the next semester, the student has not completed the required 12 credit hours and does not have a GPA of 2.0 or better, then the student will lose their eligibility for the following semester and not be eligible for a Say Yes scholarship in the next semester.

How many semesters is a student eligible for Say Yes scholarships or grants?

Students are eligible for 4 semesters at a community college or 8 semesters at a four-year college for qualified students. It is highly recommended that students complete at least 15 credit hours a semester in order to earn their degrees in the time frame supported by Say Yes.

Can Say Yes funds be used for online courses?

Yes, as long as you are attending full-time and receiving Federal and State aid.

Can Say Yes funds be used for Summer courses?

No

When will the scholarship funds be available?

Funds are dispersed directly to the college after all pertinent financial and academic information is received by Say Yes from the college. Say Yes will verify the student’s enrollment at the college before any monies are dispersed.

Is study abroad covered?

Study abroad is covered if the program is administered by the Say Yes school the student is attending. The only costs that are covered are the normal tuition costs for the credits taken abroad. No extra tuition or expenses are covered.

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