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Yale among prestigious colleges added to Say Yes initiative


Some of the nation's most prestigious universities are joining in on the mission of Say Yes to Education.

Yale University, Brown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Washington University are among the ten additional private colleges now included in the partnership with Say Yes.

Buffalo public and charter school graduates will now be able to choose from a total of 64 institutions offering tuition assistance or scholarships through the Higher Education Compact.

Senior Vice President of Say Yes to Education Jacques Steinberg says students enrolled in Buffalo’s public or charter school since Kindergarten will be eligible.

“For our private institution, schools like these, if your family income is at or below $75,000, and there’s some exceptions, and you can get into one of these schools, then at the least these schools in the Say Yes compact have committed to cover the cost of tuition and the mandated fees. If your family income is above $75,000 and you’re a participant in Say Yes, then Say Yes will send you a $5,000 scholarship,” said Steinberg.

Stienberg adds that public colleges or universities in New York State do not have household income requirements for assistance or scholarships.

More than 1,000 Buffalo graduates are already attending college with support from Say Yes to Education.

“This is the first full year of this program in Buffalo. It was reported a few weeks ago that 58% of eligible public school graduates are attending a partner college of Say Yes whether it is a public or a private,” said Steinberg.

In addition, Say Yes Buffalo is helping students succeed academically through tutoring and after school programs.

“What this means for public school students in Buffalo is that Buffalo is on the radar of these fine institutions. We’re certainly not teasing them and saying 'Hey, you’re going to Yale.' On the other hand, what we’re saying is MIT and Yale want to hear from Say Yes scholars in Buffalo and why they’re worthy of attending,” said Steinberg.

Steinberg says funding for private schools participating in Say Yes to Education comes from the college or university itself. He says funds for public universities that take part if the program comes from donations from various individuals, businesses, and organizations across western New York.