Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Say Yes Syracuse’s scholarship program.


1. What is the Syracuse Say Yes to Education Tuition Scholarship?

Students who qualify for the Syracuse Say Yes Tuition Scholarship program receive a guarantee that if they enroll at a Say Yes participating college in the SUNY/CUNY system and do not receive the full cost of tuition from state, federal, and/or institutional grants and scholarships, Say Yes will provide a grant for the remaining tuition balance. The Say Yes Tuition Scholarship is available to all students, regardless of family income, at SUNY and CUNY colleges.

Most Say Yes Higher Education Compact partner private colleges guarantee full tuition to students from families with incomes of less than $75,000. Please note that tuition does NOT include room, board, fees, books or supplies. The Say Yes Tuition Scholarship ONLY supports tuition, not these other costs.

2. Who is eligible for a Syracuse Say Yes Tuition Scholarship?

To be eligible for the Syracuse Say Yes Tuition Scholarship, a student must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Reside in Syracuse.
  2. Continuously enroll in a SCSD high school from 10th-12th grades. (Or be legally designated as having refugee status on an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or be an otherwise eligible noncitizen).
  3. Have graduated from a public high school in the city of Syracuse within 12 months of applying.
  4. Enroll full-time at a Say Yes Higher Education Compact Partner College within one year of high school graduation.
  5. Apply and remain eligible for financial aid each year.

3. How is the Syracuse Say Yes Tuition scholarship calculated?


4. How does a student qualify for the Say Yes Tuition Scholarship?

All students who meet the eligibility criteria stated above automatically qualify; however, they must complete the Say Yes Student Certification Form to be eligible for an award. Students must also keep Say Yes Syracuse informed of any address, email, or phone number changes. This will ensure that the student will receive regular information regarding the program.

If a student has questions regarding their eligibility, they should speak to the guidance counselor at their high school or contact Say Yes Syracuse.

Where can students and parents find a list of colleges that participate in the Say Yes Tuition Scholarship program?

Students who in enroll in most of the colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) are eligible to receive the Say Yes Tuition Scholarship. In addition, over 40 private colleges and universities participate in the program. Review a complete list of Say Yes Higher Education Compact Partner Colleges.

5. Are there any income restrictions for receiving a Say Yes 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. However, Syracuse University and Cooper Union do not have income restrictions. Students whose family incomes are greater than $75,000 per year may be eligible for the Say Yes Choice Grant.

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

Students will need to apply for financial aid each year prior to attending college and complete the financial aid process at their college. Students must also maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in accordance with their college’s “Good Standing” status. For Say Yes this is 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.

7. 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, then they can make up for it by taking additional credits the following fall/spring semester and/or bringing their grade point average up.

If at the end of the spring semester the student has not completed the required 24 credit hours and does not have a GPA of 2.0 or better, then the student will not be eligible for a Say Yes Scholarship the following year.

Students that do not meet the standards of academic progress at the end of an academic year can enroll over the summer to make up their deficiencies at their own expense. Remember that Say Yes funding is NOT available to students over the summer.

8. How many semesters is Say Yes funding available to each qualified student?

Say Yes funding is available for 4 semesters at a community college or 8 semesters at a 4-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 during the time requirement of Say Yes.

9. Can a student take time off between high school and college and remain eligible for a Say Yes Scholarship?

Eligible students who decide not to go to college right after graduation will remain eligible for consideration for a Say Yes Scholarship for one academic year after their high school graduation. Therefore, if a student graduates in June 2016, the student is still eligible if the student enrolls in a Say Yes Higher Education Compact partner college by September 2017.

10. If a student is Say Yes eligible and wishes to transfer to a Say Yes college, what steps do they need to take?

All Say Yes Scholars attending Say Yes Higher Education Compact partner colleges need to follow the same transfer process as all other college students. For most colleges, the student will find the transfer admissions procedures on the college’s website. Students should review the list on this website of eligible Say Yes Higher Education Compact partner colleges because not all of the private colleges will provide the Say Yes Tuition Scholarship to transfer students. If a student has questions regarding the transfer process, he/she should call or visit the college’s admissions office. Say Yes students also need to follow the regular financial aid process and meet all of the college’s financial aid deadlines.

Once the student has decided on the college he/she will transfer to, the student needs to update their account or create a new account.

Students MUST complete this step to inform Say Yes Syracuse of their transfer. Say Yes Syracuse will contact the college the student has been accepted to transfer to and determine the student’s Say Yes eligibility with the college.


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