Greetings from the University of Rochester,
In late August, we welcomed roughly 1,370 first year students and over 100 transfer students, who joined our campus community from 54 countries and 43 states (including DC and Puerto Rico). Nearly 1 in 5 self identified as a first-generation college student, and they were interested in nearly 70 different areas of academic study and hold 68 different citizenships. We are excited to welcome these new students to the Rochester community, certainly for their secondary and post-secondary achievement, but equally for their evidence of character, community engagement, self-awareness and understanding of the role they play in making meaningful change for the betterment of others. Hear some of their stories.
For the 2019–2020 application cycle we move fully to a test-optional admissions policy, which expands our already test flexible approach to reviewing applications that has been in place since 2011. We are asking students to indicate their testing optional preference at the time of submitting their application and therefore this preference will follow them throughout their application review. It is important to note that for those that choose to submit testing, we will still utilize self-reported scores and accept a wide array of testing as reliable evidence of a student’s potential for academic success.
Throughout the months ahead, our admission staff will again be traveling across the country and throughout the world in an effort to connect with you and your students as we look for the Class of 2024. We hope to connect with you during our many high school visits, college fairs, and other recruitment endeavors in your area. Additionally, I invite you and your students to visit us on campus for any of our upcoming Research Rochester open house days or daily visit opportunities, which can include admissions interviews, information sessions, and campus tours.
I thank you for all that you do to support your students as they navigate the college/university admissions landscape and greatly value our partnership in this process. I wish you and your students an enjoyable, successful and “Meliora” year ahead.
Jason B. Nevinger
Director of Admissions
As the 2019-20 school year begins, the Department of Education released its final version of the redesigned Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, now renamed the College Financing Plan (CFP). First introduced in 2013-14, the Shopping Sheet was designed to simplify information that prospective students receive about college costs and financial aid so that they can make informed decisions about which institution to attend. Schools use the Shopping Sheet in place of or as a supplement to their financial aid award letter ensuring that families have an easy-to-read form that enables them to compare institutions in terms of grant and scholarship amounts, net costs, graduation rates, loan default rates, median borrowing and available loan options.
The College Financing Plan includes several significant changes and improvements to the information provided based on consumer testing and feedback from financial aid administrators. Specifically, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the CSS Profile and/or an Institutional Methodology has been included in addition to the FAFSA EFC, and a separate on- and off-campus Cost of Attendance has been added. Grant assistance is now broken down by source and parent and private loans have been moved to the “Loan Options” heading. As a result of feedback from students and families through the consumer testing phase, new explanatory text has been added to describe which types of aid are loans that need to be repaid and which are grants/scholarships that do not. Use of the College Financing Plan for all institutions will be required for the 2020-21 award year.
In other financial aid news, the Higher Education Act (HEA) remains extended, awaiting reauthorization since 2008. There seems to be a new push to complete the reauthorization process by the end of the year, although that remains to be seen. Discussions continue to focus on simplifying the application process, ensuring accountability for schools with a “skin in the game” approach to student loan defaults, and movement toward a “one loan, one grant, one work” approach to federal funding.
At the University of Rochester, we remain committed to access and affordability and continue to meet the full demonstrated need of admitted students based on review of their FAFSA and CSS Profile applications. In addition, we offer a robust merit scholarship program that is not based on financial need so that, in combination, we are both recognizing academic achievements and making a UR investment affordable. We are transparent in our policies and communications by disclosing information about the application and awarding process on our website through tools such as cost calculators, the financial aid handbook, short videos, and Q&A’s and through our student portal and written communication. If you have any questions about the financial aid application process at UR or in general, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Samantha J. Veeder
Associate Dean of College Enrollment/Director of Financial Aid