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Say Yes Buffalo

Graduates of Buffalo Public Schools can attend Villa Maria College with free tuition!

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Free tuition is just the beginning

Achieve your dream of attending college and set yourself up for a brighter future. Villa Maria College provides students with more support than any other college in Western New York and beyond. We’re committed to the success of every student – and that goes beyond academics. As the most diverse, private college in the area we take continuous action to make education accessible and affordable to everyone, especially the students who live right in our backyard.

The Free Books Program

It’s no secret that textbooks and supplies are an expensive, out-of-pocket cost that students and their families are responsible for paying. Not at Villa. Every student receives all the materials that are essential to their success on the first day of every semester – for no additional cost. Villa students can place an immediate focus on their academics instead of price shopping for the cheapest books. Learn more at

Viking Ride

Villa Maria eliminated one of the biggest barriers to education for our students – transportation. If you can’t get to campus, you can’t succeed. The Viking Ride Program gives students a safe and reliable way to get to and from campus by giving them a $40 credit to use with Lyft each month. There is no cost to students and nothing they need to do to qualify for the program; it’s available to anyone who is enrolled in classes.

The Student Success Center

All students need academic help at some point in their college career. At Villa, there’s a whole team of people dedicated to making sure it’s available. The Student Success Center is available to students the summer before their first year of classes even starts. The Summer Bridge Program allows incoming students to establish a relationship with the tutors and mentors that will work with them the entire time they’re a Villa Viking. Beyond that, the SSC offers all students free and unrestricted access to tutors, academic coaching, accessibility services, and more. All tutors are certified by the National Tutoring Association.

The Mentorship Program

All first-year students are paired with a staff member that serves as an additional resource for all things Villa. Whether they need some general direction, a sounding board, or just another recognizable face on campus, the mentorship program has become a cornerstone in the slew of Villa’s support services.

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Director of Admissions
Becky Strathearn

[email protected]

For more information on the Say Yes Program chat with Becky, our Villa Say Yes contact or visit

Student success is our biggest priority

Located just minutes from the Galleria Mall and the highway, Villa Maria College has outstanding academic and personal growth opportunities right here in Buffalo. Villa Maria is a small, private college that offers Say Yes students limitless opportunities. The College has 19 dynamic academic programs that were developed to help you get the jobs that are available and in-demand in today’s market. Academic growth is complemented by study abroad options, a growing athletics program that includes cheerleading and esports, diverse student life programing, volunteer events, an on-campus art gallery, and so much more.

Say Yes Scholarship Eligibility

  • Reside in the city of Buffalo
  • Graduate from a Buffalo public school or charter school, located in the city (beginning in June 2013).
  • At minimum, complete grades 9-12, in consecutive years, at a Buffalo public or charter school located in the city.
  • Successfully complete and submit a Say Yes Buffalo Tuition Scholarship Application and all other required documentation of residency and public school attendance.
  • Apply for federal and state financial aid programs available.
  • Enroll as a full-time college student in an eligible college within 15 months after high school graduation.
  • Requirements must be met annually in order for students to maintain the Say Yes Buffalo Tuition Scholarship.

Application Process and Timeline

  1. Complete and submit a Say Yes Student Certification Form (Click Here) by April 1
  2. Apply and be admitted to Villa Maria College (Click Here)
  3. Apply for Financial Aid (complete and submit FAFSA and TAP applications) April 1
  4. Notify Villa Maria College and Say Yes Buffalo on your intent to enroll by April 1

Students in the Say Yes Buffalo program from the Buffalo Public School system, as well as all city charter schools, may be eligible for a Say Yes scholarship. Say Yes scholarships will cover the remaining balance of a student’s tuition after state, federal, and/or institutional grants and scholarships have been applied. The award covers tuition only and does not include costs for room and board, books* and other fees.

*Books and supplies are free to all Villa students.

Villa Maria College provides Say Yes Tuition Scholarship to students from families with an income of less than $75,000. Say Yes Scholarships are typically awarded to students with the highest financial need and highest academic and extra-curricular accomplishments first. Students from families whose income is more than $75,000, who plan on attending Villa Maria College, may receive the Choice Grant. This grant offers up to $5,000 per year. Choice Grants, when combined with state, federal, and institutional grants and scholarships, are not to exceed the cost of full-time tuition.