Press Release


Buffalo, NY, December 21, 2016 – The Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Board has updated its guidelines so that students who attend and complete the Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Career Collegiate Institute (CCI) and the TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion, formerly the GED) are eligible for Say Yes Buffalo scholarships, effective immediately.

To receive a scholarship, CCI students must meet all other Say Yes Buffalo eligibility requirements, including:

  • Residing in the city of Buffalo
  • Having attended a public or charter school within the city of Buffalo when last enrolled in school
  • Enrolling full-time at a postsecondary institution within one year of completing CCI and the TASC
  • Applying for all federal and state financial aid programs available (FAFSA and TAP), including Selective Service as required by law, by August 31st for fall semester or December 31st for spring semester.

The Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Board revised its guidelines after an annual review of student eligibility requirements.

“Since Say Yes Buffalo was announced four years ago, we’ve seen remarkable progress and promising results,” said Alphonso O’Neil-White, chair of the Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Board. “What we’re most proud of is the fourteen-percentage point increase in high school graduation of Buffalo’s students, from 49 percent in 2012 to 63 percent in 2015. Even now at 63 percent, we recognize that 37 percent of students are not making it out of high school. The CCI program gives hope to students who for whatever the reason, were not able to complete high school.   Enrolling in and completing the CCI program and the TASC is an accomplishment we feel compelled to reward with a scholarship.”

The Career Collegiate Institute managed by Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division is an intense learning program for students ages 17-21. CCI provides students with preparation classes for taking and passing the TASC exam (formerly GED) and for entrance into community college.

There are currently 160 students enrolled in the Career Collegiate Institute, but the pool of students eligible to enroll is much greater.

“We know in recent years that many of our students left school before earning a diploma,” said Dr. Kriner Cash, Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent. “With the Say Yes Scholarship now available to those who return to earn their TASC as an incentive, we hope to see the enrollment at CCI increase substantially. And ultimately, that more of Buffalo’s young people have the opportunity to earn a postsecondary degree and make a successful transition to the local workforce,” he added.


About The Say Yes Buffalo Partnership

Launched in 2012, the Say Yes Buffalo partnership is a community collaboration dedicated to strengthening the city’s public school system and increasing high school and postsecondary graduation rates. Comprised of the Buffalo Public School District, City of Buffalo, Erie County, the Buffalo Teachers Federation, the District Parent Coordinating Council and more than one-hundred other funders and community-based-organizations is made possible by the collaboration and generosity of Western New York individuals, families, businesses and organizations and Say Yes to Education. More information at www.sayyesbuffalo.test.


About the Buffalo Public Schools

The Buffalo School District is the 2nd largest in New York State, serving 34,000 students in nearly 60 facilities. The district strives to bring exemplary teaching practices and unparalleled opportunities to our diverse student population. Our mission is to ensure that every student will have the confidence, knowledge, thinking skills, character and hope to assume responsibility for her/his life and contribute to the lives of others. To accomplish this we champion excellence and innovative learning experiences in partnership with family and community, and we hold ourselves accountable for educating our students and for working to energize all members of the community to actively participate in the accomplishment of our mission.




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