Say Yes Top 10

1 Say Yes to Education is a national, non-profit foundation committed to increasing high school and college graduation rates for urban youth.

2 Say Yes provides after-school and summer camp programs, tutoring, mentoring, family outreach and engagement, social work/counseling services, financial aid counseling, referrals for health care and free legal assistance for students and families in the Syracuse City School District. The program culminates with the promise of free tuition for students who meet graduation, residency and college admissions requirements.

SCSD students are eligible for free tuition at one of nearly 100 colleges or universities in the Say Yes compact (see college list at if they meet the eligibility requirement:

Have been a resident of the City of Syracuse for at least three years
Have attended 10th, 11th and 12th grades in a SCSD high school and graduate
Apply and get into one of the Say Yes compact schools on their own merit
File for financial aid each year and complete any additional requirements as specified by the college
Once enrolled, successfully complete a minimum of 12 credit hours for each semester and maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better

Students from families with incomes below $75,000 are guaranteed free tuition to ANY college (private or public) on the Say Yes compact list if they meet the requirements.

Students from families with incomes over $75,000 are guaranteed free tuition to all SUNY/CUNY colleges on the Say Yes compact list and to Syracuse University and Cooper Union.

Students from families with incomes of more than $75,000 who are attending a Say Yes Private Compact College where they are not eligible to receive free tuition may receive the Choice Grant. The Choice Grant is up to $5,000 per year based on the difference between other financial aid awarded and the cost of full-time tuition. Choice Grants, in addition to other financial aid awarded by the college and/or private grants/scholarships, are not to exceed the cost of full time undergraduate tuition.

7 The Say Yes to Education grant is what is known as a last dollar scholarship.  By that we mean that all students are guaranteed to receive grants and scholarships in an amount that covers their tuition at an eligible school.  If the grants and scholarships the student receives from federal, state, and other sources do not cover the full cost of tuition, then the student will be eligible to receive a Say Yes grant that makes up the difference.

Say Yes tuition grants cover tuition only, not books and fees. Say Yes offers Opportunity Grants to assist high need students (up to $2,000 for those eligible for the maximum Federal Pell Grant), with additional costs associated with college attendance.

Eligible students who decide not to go to college right after graduation will remain eligible for Say Yes benefits for one academic year after their high school graduation. Therefore, if you graduated in June 2010, you are still eligible if you enroll in a Say Yes college in September 2011.

10 To find the most up-to date information about Say Yes, visit

— Submitted by Susan Feightner Say Yes to Education program

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