1. Who qualifies for the scholarship?
All applicants must be residents of the eight counties of WNY with children entering K-8th grade. The total family income must fall within the income eligibility scale (see below). You may only apply for your biological children or children that you have legal guardianship or custody.
|Maximum Income Based on Total Annual 2020 Household Income
||Maximum Allowable Income
|For each additional children add $12,096
2. How do new families apply?
New families must complete a pre-application form by clicking the “Apply Now” button. The new applicant deadline is February 28, 2021. Preference is NOT given to early applications; however you must apply by February 28th to be considered. Families applying after February 28th will be placed on our waitlist.
3. How are BISON scholarship recipients chosen?
Scholarships are awarded using a lottery from all submitted pre-application forms which is conducted on March 1, 2021. Lottery winners will receive an email with a link to complete a full application in order to receive the scholarship.
4. How do I know if I won the lottery?
All applicants will be notified of lottery results by email on March 1, 2021. If you’re not chosen in the lottery you will be placed on our waitlist should funding become available.
5. I received a Scholarship award email … now what?
In your award email, there will be a link that will take you where you need to go to complete your full application. Clink on the link and follow the application steps. The deadline to complete the application is April 30, 2021. Please be sure to include all your income sources including your FEDERAL 1040 tax return, child support, business income, public assistance, food stamps, Social Security income, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation and financial assistance from family & friends. Select your school (a complete list is on our website) and contact the school to complete the school commitment form. After receipt of all the required documents, your scholarships will be calculated based on your household size and income, as well as tuition amount. You must renew annually to continue with BISON.
5. I received an email that I’m on the waitlist … now what?
Unfortunately, there are always more applicants than available funding. We keep waitlist names for the academic year hopeful that additional funding becomes available. If you are not taken off the waitlist, you will need to resubmit a pre-application form the following year to be entered into the lottery again.
6. Why do families have to pay part of the tuition?
One key component of educational success is parental involvement. Making a financial sacrifice is a strong incentive to becoming, and remaining, involved. Therefore, the scholarship is a hand-up, not a handout. The families are required to pay a minimum of $500 per family.
7. What if I am not satisfied with my child’s school?
You are free to transfer your child to another private school. Your scholarship will transfer with you unless you are delinquent with tuition payments or a child is asked to leave. Contact the BISON Fund office if you decide to transfer and will walk you through the next steps.
8. Can the scholarships be used for Pre-K or High School?
The scholarship cannot be used for Pre-K. Children must be at least 5 years old by 12/31/21 and entering kindergarten. Our BISON 8th graders will have the opportunity to be entered into the high school lottery for the opportunity to receive a BISON high school scholarship.
Listed below are the four steps new families need to complete to be considered for a BISON scholarship.
- Complete a pre-application form online by February 28, 2021. If you have any questions, call BISON at 716.854.0869, ext. 1.
- Watch for notification after the BISON lottery is held on March 1, 2021. Both winners and waitlisted families will be notified of the results by email.
- If selected, you will receive an email with a link to complete the full application. Enroll your child(ren) in the school of their choice and ask the school to complete the school commitment form.
- Once all steps are completed, BISON will notify you of your scholarship amount. Watch for notices to annually renew your BISON scholarship in February.