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OCC, Say Yes collaborate to help Syracuse students with college housing costs

OCC entrance
Onondaga Community College will begin a weekend college program this August at its campus in the town of Onondaga. The program is “accelerated” to help students earn an associate degree in one year. Business the first degree program offered. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo)

ONONDAGA, N.Y. — Onondaga Community College (OCC) and Say Yes Syracuse have reached an agreement that will help graduates of the Syracuse City School District who attend OCC with their housing costs.

The Preferred Partners Program is the product of an agreement between the Say Yes Opportunity Grant and OCC’s Housing Development Corporation.

The new Preferred Partners Program will provide students (Say Yes Scholars) with benefits that include receiving up to $2,500 in housing assistance per semester. The dollar figure includes $1,500 from the Say Yes Opportunity Grant and $1,000 from the OCC Housing Development Corporation.


The current cost for a student to live in OCC’s residence halls is $3,215 per semester, the school said.

To qualify, Say Yes Scholars must reside on campus, be eligible for the Say Yes Opportunity Grant, be designated a full-time student, and have need not covered by any other funding, per the OCC announcement.

Students who are Say Yes Scholars and make “satisfactory” academic progress and remain in “good disciplinary standing” will be eligible for the Preferred Partners Program for up to four consecutive semesters.

All Say Yes Syracuse Scholars who attend colleges in the SUNY system, such as OCC, have their tuition guaranteed through a private local endowment held and managed by the Central New York Community Foundation called the SYTE Scholarship Fund, the school said. It guarantees tuition through a last dollar calculation in which state and federal aid are applied toward tuition. The remaining balance is covered by the SYTE Scholarship Fund.

Families interested in learning more about this opportunity can do so at upcoming Say Yes information sessions in the Syracuse City School District. They include:

  • Nottingham High School — Thurs, April 13 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Syracuse ITC — Fri, April 14 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Corcoran High School — Mon, May 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • to 7 p.m.
  • Henninger High School — Wed, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • PSLA at Fowler — Thurs, May 18 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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