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Improve Educational Achievement for Students Living in Low-Income Households
Successful strategies that create and support economic self-sufficiency include improving educational attainment and increasing the assets of low-income families.
That is why the Community Foundation is proud to be the largest provider of college scholarships in Western New York. Our donors provided over $2.1 million in 2013 making it possible for more than 1,000 students to continue their education.
The Community Foundation continues to help many more students attain post-secondary education as a partner, supporter, and advocate of Say Yes Buffalo.
Launched in December of 2011, Say Yes Buffalo is an education-based initiative that provides a powerful engine for long-term economic development and radically improves the life course of an entire generation of public school students in the City of Buffalo.
Catalyzed by a universal scholarship program, Say Yes Buffalo will increase educational attainment by students in the Buffalo Public Schools, providing up to 100% of their tuition at any participating public or private post-secondary institution.
Why it Matters
- The under-18 poverty rate is 44.5% in Buffalo and 33.6% in Niagara Falls
- Children growing up in poverty have a high likelihood of being poor as adults. 65% of children born into the lowest economic quintile remain in the bottom two quintiles as adults
- 30% of 65,000 adults in the city of Buffalo are illiterate (reading below a 5th grade level)
- Buffalo Public Schools has a 4-year (on-time) graduation rate of 56%
- Over the course of a lifetime, a worker with a bachelor’s degree will out earn a worker with high school diploma by $850,000
- In Buffalo:
- A person with a high school diploma will earn about $8,200 more a year than a high school dropout, which results in a difference of $328,000 over a 40-year career
- A person with a bachelor’s degree will earn about $12,900 more a year than a high school graduate, which results in a difference of $516,000 over a 40-year career
- In Buffalo:
- In Buffalo, 42% of people with less than a high school diploma live below the poverty line compared with 24% of high school graduates and 9% college graduates
- The unemployment rate varies by educational attainment. The unemployment rate for those with less than a college degree is more than double (11%) than those with a bachelor’s degree (4%). Those with a high school diploma are less likely to be unemployed than those without a high school diploma
Sources: (American Community Survey 2008-2012, Brookings Institute Economic Mobility Project, Say Yes Buffalo, Read to Succeed Buffalo, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census 2010)
The Community Foundation focuses on four key solutions within self-sufficiency to address this tremendous need in our community and provides grants to organizations that do the following:
- Increase educational attainment for low-income children and adults
- Increase the number of low-income residents obtaining jobs that support economic self-sufficiency
- Increase financial assets for low-income residents
- Research and advocacy related to the above solutions