A new round of commitments to the "Say Yes Buffalo" education initiative was announced today. Twenty private colleges are pledging to provide scholarship opportunities for the program.
Say Yes will allow eligible Buffalo Public and Charter School students a chance to attend college tuition-free.
Among the colleges expanding scholarship opportunities is Medaille College in Buffalo. Medaille is already involved with Syracuse's Say Yes to Education.
Medaille's president Richard Jurasek says the effort is "extraordinary."
"We're starting to behave more system-like, more intentional. We have declared common cause. There is a sense of continuity from cradle to campus," Jurasek said.
Jurasek says Medaille's Say Yes Syracuse students are making better progress and have better retention than the average student.
Under the deal with SUNY and CUNY schools, there will be no income requirements for students. But under these private schools, an income cap of $75,000 will be required.
More than $17 million have been raised locally so far to fund the scholarship compact. The first round of scholarships will be handed out in June of 2013.
The list of new colleges added to the program includes Bryant and Stratton, Canisius College, Colgate University, Crouse Hospital College of Nursing, Cooper Union, D'Youville College, Daemen College, Hilbert College, Houghton College, Lesley University, Medaille College, Niagara University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. Bonaventure University, Syracuse University, Trocaire College, University of Pennsylvia, University of Rochester, and Villa Maria College.