Say Yes students have the opportunity to receive scholarships to colleges and other post-secondary institutions, whether two-year, four-year or vocational – public or private. Funds raised locally provide “last-dollar” tuition scholarships – after Pell Grants and other aid have been taken into account – for eligible Say Yes Scholars to attend in-state public colleges and universities. In addition, the 100 private colleges and universities that comprise the Say Yes Higher Education Compact offer similar scholarships to qualified applicants.

In joining the Say Yes Higher Education Compact, private colleges and universities agree to ensure that students from Say Yes communities whose annual family income is at or below $75,000 are typically eligible, at a minimum, to attend tuition-free, provided they are accepted through the institution’s regular admission process.

Say Yes students whose family income is above $75,000 and who are enrolled in a Compact institution are eligible to receive annual grants, from the organization itself, of up to $5,000. While Say Yes adopted a citywide approach in 2008, college scholarships are still available to several hundred students in the organization’s earlier chapters in Harlem in New York City and Hartford, Conn.

NOTE: The private colleges and universities that are the members of the Say Yes Higher Education Compact are the primary source of funding to Say Yes students attending their institutions — and are also responsible for defining “family income.” While all of the member colleges have agreed to the basic conditions of the Say Yes program, the institutions may have policies and restrictions that are unique – including policies that may take into account a family’s assets when considering Say Yes awards.

Parents and students seeking more information on the specific financial aid policies of members of the Say Yes Compact should consult the websites of Say Yes Buffalo and Say Yes Syracuse, as well as the member institutions themselves.


Transportation to and from Say Yes Higher Education Compact institutions

In some instances, Say Yes may be able to arrange air travel for a prospective student (and a parent or guardian) to visit a member institution of the Say Yes Higher Education Compact – via a limited number of vouchers provided to the organization through its partnership with Southwest Airlines. Vouchers may also be available to students enrolled at Compact institutions for their first visit home, or to interview for an internship. Such requests should be made directly to the directors of the Say Yes programs in Buffalo and Syracuse.

Institutions seeking further information on the Say Yes Higher Education Compact should contact:
Jacques Steinberg
SVP Higher Education and Communications
212 415 7163 (w)
917 847 3684 (m)


Contact Us

Are you inspired by the goals and approach of Say Yes? We invite you to reach out to the Say Yes National office or to a Say Yes chapter, to learn more about how you can get involved.