A $10 million award was presented to the Say Yes Buffalo program at a ceremony Friday. State leaders delivered the award as part of Governor Cuomo's Buffalo Billion II investment fund.
All of that money will be made available to Say Yes scholarship recipients attending SUNY or CUNY schools. It will be awarded to students demonstrating the most financial need and is meant to help with the cost of college beyond tuition.
Say Yes Buffalo first started offering scholarships to graduates of Buffalo public and charter high schools in 2013. The new funding from New York State will go toward existing Opportunity Grants. Those grants are awarded, up to $2,000 per year, to students who receive the maximum Federal PELL Grant and who reside on a SUNY/CUNY campus.
“We are happy with the resolution with New York State regarding Excelsior,” said David Rust, Executive Director of Say Yes Buffalo. “Since the beginning, we recognized that some students need more support to be able to persist and complete a postsecondary degree. We are thankful to New York State for recognizing the importance of the Opportunity Grants and making an investment that ensures their availability for generations to come.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, State Senator Tim Kennedy, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Mayor Byron Brown were on hand to present the money to Say Yes Buffalo.