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Say Yes & COVID-19 (7/28/2020)

Say Yes Syracuse understands that students and families are concerned about the upcoming academic year regarding COVID-19 related health and safety concerns. We also understand that students may be concerned about any hybrid or remote learning plans (online classes being required for students) being implemented by colleges.  Below is some guidance that may be helpful.

College & University Campus housing, financial aid & learning plan:

All of the Say Yes college partners have moved quickly to devise policies in response to the rapidly evolving pandemic.  These policies have allowed flexibility and consideration for various learning and housing options. We recommend that all students regularly and carefully view their college or university website as well as all communication received from the college regarding financial aid updates, housing, safety precautions, student health requirements, as well as the adjusted academic calendar and remote learning.

We encourage students to contact their respective college to inquire about any additional academic services or accommodations that may be offered by the school during this pandemic to support their efforts.

Most common COVID-19 related questions and answers

  • Will Say Yes cover online classes? As long as eligible students are enrolled full-time, they will continue to receive the Say Yes tuition guarantee.
  • Will Say Yes cover summer classes taken as make up for lost credits from the Spring 2020 semester? Unfortunately, Say Yes cannot cover summer courses or accelerated Winter Break courses.  That is a steadfast rule that cannot be appealed.
  • Will Say Yes cover additional classes needed to make up lost credits from the Spring 2020 semester?  Say Yes does not cover tuition overloads.  Typically colleges charge students that enroll for more than 21 credits per credit hour for every credit over 21.  Say Yes does not cover that, and it can’t be appealed.
  • Will students still receive scholarships if colleges do not resume in person/on campus classes? As long as the student is enrolled full-time, they will receive the tuition scholarship, whether on or off campus.
  • Will Say Yes cover tuition if colleges do not resume on campus learning?  The scholarship and its structure will remain intact, which is a “last dollar” tuition guarantee.
  • Will students still be able to receive the Say Yes Opportunity Grant if they are not allowed to return to campus for housing?  If students are not allowed to return to campus, we will be unable to provide opportunity grants to the students at the respective college, however if they are allowed to return to campus but not allowed to have in person classes we will be able to award opportunity grants.

Does a student have to appeal if the they had difficulty and failed to meet the Say Yes student responsibilities during the Spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19 related issues (displacement, mental health related/poor performance, online learning, materials etc)?  Students that were unable to meet student responsibilities (register and complete 12 or more credits with a semester GPA of 2.0 or better, each semester) can appeal for hardship.

COVID-19 related leave of absence

Students considering taking a leave of absence due to health and safety concerns specific to COVID-19, are advised to contact their college for direction regarding the process.  Once the leave of absence is confirmed, students must notify us of the leave of absence.  Students can contact Dana Lyons regarding these concerns at   

Upon confirmation of the leave of absence, we will administratively enter an academic GAP Year* in the student’s record, ensuring no loss of Say Yes eligibility or funding upon the student’s return from the leave of absence for up to 2 consecutive semesters of leave.

*Students will be notified of the Say Yes GAP Year when it has been applied to the record.