University of Rochester

University of Rochester Renews Rochester Promise Scholarship Program

September 3, 2013

Graduates of RCSD High Schools Offered Tuition-Free Scholarships to Rochester

The University of Rochester has renewed the Rochester Promise, a tuition-free scholarship program available to Rochester City School District graduates. Rochester Promise is one of several tuition-assistance programs and partnerships the University offers to first-generation and low-income college students nationwide.

Since its launch at the University in 2007, more than 70 City graduates have taken advantage of the program, which guarantees any graduate of City high schools at least $100,000 in sponsored scholarships to attend the University's College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering.

In renewing the program, the College is making a larger and deeper commitment to RSCD high school classes of 2014 and beyond, aiming to make it possible for most high-performing public school students in Rochester to attend the University tuition free. Under the Rochester Promise, students receive tuition assistance that- when added to government, University, or other grants for which they are eligible- equals full tuition for up to four years of enrollment. The four-year estimated value of each award will range from $145,000 to $192,000.

First-year and transfer students eligible for participation in the program must earn admission to the University (largely through strong performance in classes), reside in the City of Rochester, have graduated from and spent their last two years at a Rochester City School District public school or publically chartered high school within city geographical boundaries, and have lived in households with incomes less than twice the area average ($137,400, which is twice the $68,700 area average reported by the 2012 U.S. Census survey).

"The first goal of the Promise is to assure students in City schools today that their hard work in earning admission to college will also earn them the financial support they require to succeed here," said Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions and financial aid at the University of Rochester. "The second goal is to ensure that dozens of young Rochester citizens recognize the University of Rochester as one of the nation's best universities, but also as their neighborhood college."

Students who qualify for the Promise program with eligibility for the NYS Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), Wilson International Baccalaureate Scholarship, or University employee tuition benefits will receive the maximum combination of scholarships and benefits for which they are eligible. The new maximum income restriction will begin with students seeking to enter the University in fall 2015 or later. Rochester City students and all other students entering from homes earning above the income threshold may be eligible for other forms of University need-based and merit scholarship assistance.

In addition to the Promise program, Rochester continues to meet the full demonstrated financial need of all entering undergraduates, and has also launched or expanded partnerships with organizations serving low-income and first-generation students:

  • In fall 2014, the University of Rochester will partner with The Posse Foundation, a renowned college access and youth leadership development program, to provide full-tuition merit scholarships to 50 qualified freshmen from the Washington D.C. area. Posse scholars will arrive in 10-student cohorts each year between fall 2014 and fall 2018.
  • Rochester participates in the Say Yes to Education program, which offers comprehensive tuition scholarship programs to high school graduates from the Syracuse and Buffalo city school districts. Since 2008, 15 students have enrolled at Rochester through Say Yes.
  • Rochester enrolls many students each year through established partnerships with the National Urban League, the National Hispanic Institute, College Horizons, and the internationally-respected Davis United World College Scholars program. Rochester also partners with organizations operating in New York City, Seattle, Houston, Chicago, New England, and Southern California, and maintains international partnerships in Africa and the Middle East.



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