Meliora letters spelled out in front of Rush Rhees Library

Community Programs

The Office of Admissions values the promotion of post-secondary access through proactive engagement by reaching out to schools and communities within the greater Rochester community. These programs are administered by the Office of Admissions and specifically target or overlap with the University’s outreach to the community.

If you have questions about the activities and programs found on this webpage, or if you would like to schedule a visit for your group, class, or organization, please call us at (585) 275-3221 or email us at

Campus Discovery Search and Spelling Bee Day

The Office of Admissions and the Financial Aid Office will collaborate with Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and members of the 19th Ward community to host a scavenger hunt and spelling bee for students in grades 3–6. The young students will explore campus, enjoy lunch in Danforth Dining Hall with University students, and end their day with a spelling bee.

Focus on Rochester

This annual event offers an opportunity for community members and University of Rochester personnel to meet and discuss how we might better work together. We are thrilled to bring the event into the community, and are proud to continue this partnership for the betterment of Rochester youth.

Rochester Promise

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

“The first goal of the Rochester Promise is to assure students in RCSD schools that their hard work in earning admission to college will also earn them the financial support they require to succeed here.

The second goal is to ensure that dozens of young Rochester citizens recognize the University of Rochester not only as one of the nation’s best universities, but also as their neighborhood college.”

– Jonathan Burdick, Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid


First year and transfer students are eligible and must:

  • Reside in the City of Rochester.
  • Have graduated from and spent their last two years at a Rochester City School District public or publicly chartered high school within city geographical boundaries.
  • Have lived in households with incomes less than twice the area average (i.e., $137,400, or twice the $68,700 area average reported by the 2012 US Census).

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.

For more information please contact or call (585) 275-3221.

Similar Scholarships

Like the Rochester Promise scholarship, these scholarships are specifically designed to eliminate barriers to access and encourage Rochester youth to achieve their aspirations for post-secondary achievement. As you know, the University of Rochester is committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of all admitted students.

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection 
$25,000 per year for a former Hillside scholar

Jesse Moore Urban League Scholarship 
Starts at $10,000 per year for youth nominated by the local Urban League office

Wilson International Baccalaureate
Full-tuition scholarship for graduates of the IB Program at Wilson Magnet High School who enroll at the University as first years