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.  To be eligible, students must enroll at the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering.

“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, Dean of College Admission and Vice-Provost for Enrollment Initiatives


First year and transfer students at the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering 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.