Types of Scholarships

Say Yes Syracuse provides scholarships to eligible graduates of the Syracuse City School District and Syracuse charter schools to all State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) schools and more than 100 private colleges and universities. See below to learn more about the different types of scholarships that are available.


Say Yes eligible students who are accepted to colleges and universities in the SUNY/CUNY system can receive Tuition Scholarships. The tuition balance that remains AFTER state, federal and tuition specific institutional aid are subtracted.

Say Yes does not consider family income in determining the amount of Say Yes SUNY/CUNY Tuition Scholarships. Tuition does not include room, board, fees, books or supplies. The Say Yes Tuition Scholarship only supports tuition and not these other costs.


Opportunity Grants provide up to $3,000* per year and can be used toward books, fees, or room and board. These grants are awarded to Say Yes Syracuse eligible students who enroll at a SUNY or CUNY college or university and who:

  • Receive a combination of New York State TAP grants and Federal Pell grants that cover tuition
  • Reside on campus or campus affiliated housing or apartments

Opportunity Grants when combined with other aid cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

*Beginning with the Fall 2021 semester, the SUNY/CUNY Opportunity Grant is increased to $3,000 per year (or $1,500 per semester).

Onondaga Community College Preferred Partners Program

The Preferred Partners Program will provide OCC students $2,500 in housing assistance per semester – $1,500 will come from the Say Yes Opportunity Grant, $1,000 will come from the OCC Housing Development Corporation. The current cost for a student to live in OCC’s residence halls is $3,215 per semester. Qualifying Say Yes students must:

  • Reside on campus
  • Be eligible for the Say Yes Opportunity Grant (see above)
  • Be designated a full-time student
  • Have need not covered by any other funding

Say Yes Scholars students who make satisfactory academic progress and remain in good disciplinary standing will be eligible for the Preferred Partners Program for up to four consecutive semesters.


Say Yes eligible students who are accepted to private colleges and universities that are members of the Say Yes Syracuse Higher Education Compact AND who meet family income restrictions set by those institutions can receive Tuition Scholarships and more from those institutions (some institutions will cover more than just tuition costs, for example, room and board, and/or books).  Students with annual family income of $75,000 or less are eligible for these scholarships.  At some private institutions, students with family income over $75,000 are eligible. View a list of our college partners.

The amount of these scholarships is determined by the tuition balance that remains AFTER state, federal and institutional aid are subtracted.


Say Yes eligible students who are accepted to private colleges and universities that are members of the Say Yes Syracuse Higher Education Compact and who have family incomes OVER $75,000 may be eligible to receive a Say Yes Choice Grant.

Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Scholarships

Please note that the HBCU scholarship opportunity offered through the national Say Yes to Education Foundation is no longer available. Please visit our College Partner list to see which HBCUs offer scholarships to Say Yes Syracuse Scholars.


If you have scholarship questions, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t find the answers you need there, get in touch – the Say Yes staff is happy to help!

Dana Lyons-Canty
Phone: 315-883-5555
Email: dlyons@sayyessyracuse.org

Picking the right college

To find out more about how to choose the right college for you, check out these handy resources:

Contact Us

Are you inspired by the goals and approach of Say Yes or have questions about scholarships? We invite you to subscribe to our mailing list, set an appointment, or reach out to and learn more about how you can get involved.

Ahmeed Turner, Executive Director

Dana Lyons-Canty, Officer, Scholarship and Student Support