Cullen Scholars

Students seeking a unique and rewarding academic experience provided by Erie County’s private schools have an exciting opportunity. Cullen Foundation seeks to assist families of high-achieving students to mitigate the financial challenges of attaining a private middle school and high school education through our Cullen Scholars program.

Cullen Foundation believes that access to high quality education is critical for an individual and a community’s success. To this end, we are providing an opportunity to a select group of high-performing students entering grade 5 to attend a private school in the BISON Scholarship Fund network. Cullen Scholars also participate in Buffalo Prep, which provides access and preparation for talented underrepresented youth to achieve success in college preparatory high schools and higher education.

Our program provides access to private schools with preference given to students of color. We offer this opportunity to high-achieving students while increasing the diversity of experience for all private school students. Cullen Scholars will be selected based on academic achievement, financial need and character.



The Cullen Scholars program partners with local education organizations to provide financial, administrative and support services to students accepted as Cullen Scholars:


Buffalo Prep Logo


Bison Logo



Cullen Foundation has established the following eligibility criteria:

  • Student is in good standing with a “B” or above average.
  • Student’s family meets household income criteria - see chart.
  • Student must be an Erie County resident.
  • Students will be required to participate in Buffalo Prep.
  • Student is nominated by a BISON Fund school.
  • Preference is given to students of color.

Middle School Scholarships
Annual Income Eligibility Scale for 2020-2021 School Year
(Maximum Income Based on Total Annual 2019 Income)

Household Size Maximum Income
2 $45,657
3 $57,591
4 $69,525
5 $81,459
6 $93,393
7 $105,327
8 $117,261


Scholarship Award

Scholarships are partial and renewable for up to eight years while student attends a BISON or EdCo school, contingent on meeting our academic and financial criteria each year. For the 2020-2021 school year, Cullen Foundation will grant scholarship awards as follows:

  • Middle School Scholars in 2020-2021 will receive $2,700 / year
  • High School Scholars in 2020-2021 will receive $8,500 / year

Payment is made directly to the BISON Fund or EdCo school.

Please note that scholars will be responsible for paying or securing support for remaining tuition costs. Additionally, there is a $150 supply fee for each Buffalo Prep summer program following 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade which will be the responsibility of the scholarship recipient.


Application and Process

Applications must be completed by a school in the BISON Fund network. Applications are to be completed by the school and not by a parent/guardian or student.

  • Each BISON Fund school may nominate one 4th grade student for a middle school scholarship to begin in 5th grade.
  • Scholarships are partial and renewable, contingent on meeting our academic and financial criteria each year.
  • Parents and students will be required to sign a contract that outlines the family’s responsibilities.
  • All scholarship recipients are required to take part in the following Buffalo Prep programs which take place during the school year and in the summer (click each link for schedule, curriculum and other information):
  • A committee comprised of community volunteers will review the applications and choose the scholarship winners.


Important Dates

Please note these important dates for the scholarship award process:

December 10, 2019 - Applications available

February 7, 2020 - Applications due

March 2020 - Notification letters sent to new Cullen Scholars

Apply Online

The entire application will be online.

Schools may click here to login or create a new account. 

The application process opens December 10, 2019.

Apply Now




For a PDF version of our 2020-2021 brochure, please click below:

Middle School Scholarship brochure