How the program works

Founded in 1995, the BISON Fund has awarded over 27,000 scholarships worth $23.7 million, positively impacting over 18,500 families. For the 2015-16 school year, there were 1,800 BISON Scholars attending 69 different schools throughout Western New York.

Our scholarships are awarded first-come first-served on the basis of financial need. It is BISON’s goal to assist families through the full nine years of grammar school (including grandfathering in younger siblings).

The maximum amount of assistance a family can receive per year is $1,800 per child. Every family required to pay a portion (at least $500) of the tuition each year. The parental contribution is a vital element in the success of the program, as families who must invest their own money for tuition have a stronger stake in their child’s education.

Does my family qualify?

To be eligible for the BISON program, families must:

  • Reside within the 8 counties of Western New York.
  • Meet income eligibility guidelines (based on percentage of poverty rates).
  • Have a child entering grades Kindergarten through 8th grade.
  • Meet the admissions requirements at the accredited school that their child wants to attend.


Children Maximum Income Based on Total Annual 2015 Household Income
75% of Tuition 50% of Tuition 25% of Tuition
2 $15,133 $27,997.00 $40,861.00
3 $19,085 $35,309.00 $51,531.00
4 $23,037 $42,620.00 $62,202.00
5 $26,989 $49,931.00 $72,872.00
6 $30,941 $57,242.00 $83,542.00
7 $34,893 $64,553.00 $94,212.00
8 $38,845 $71,865.00 $104,883.00
*For each additional child add $10,670