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Excelsior & Say Yes

This past spring New York State announced the Excelsior Scholarship, providing eligible students with the opportunity to attend a SUNY or CUNY institution tuition-free. Since Excelsior was announced, Say Yes has taken the time to evaluate how this incredible opportunity compliments our scholarship program while staying true to our core mission of ensuring access to higher education for all Buffalo students.

We have determined the following:

  • Say Yes Buffalo’s SUNY/CUNY tuition scholarships have always been and will remain a “last dollar” scholarship, being applied to students’ accounts once all other federal, state and institution aid is applied, which now includes New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship.
  • All current and future Say Yes Scholars are now required to apply for New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship when the application becomes available and in every year going forward, prior to accessing Say Yes Buffalo’s scholarships and grants.

We understand that you may have many questions, and invite you to review this frequently asked questions document to learn more.

The Excelsior application will be available to complete in the spring of 2018 for students entering and returning to college in the fall 2018 semester. The Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Team will be available during the time that the Excelsior application is open to assist you with the application. We will be in touch in the coming months to provide more information on the Excelsior application once we learn the date in which the application will be open.

Specific questions about a student’s eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship should be directed to New York State at 1-888-NYSHESC (1-888-697-4372); To learn more about the Excelsior Scholarship click here.

Please direct any additional questions to buffaloscholarship@sayyestoeducation.org.

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