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 and at the national level. 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, toll free at (888) 822-2256, or email us at admit@admissions.rochester.edu.


Community Programs

These programs are administered by the Office of Admissions and specifically target or overlap with the University’s outreach to the community.

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.

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.

The Office of Admissions, the Financial Aid Office, and Pre-College Programs will combine efforts to present the Pre-College Experience (PCE). This event is for students in grades 7–11 from Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse schools. In this free program, participants may choose to attend an assortment of workshops on topics such as the college admissions process, financial aid, the college essay, mini-class offerings available through Pre-College Programs, and summer program offerings. There will also be opportunities to hear current college students’ stories.

Rochester Promise

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


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 admit@admissions.rochester.edu 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

Local Partnerships

Local Partnerships

The Office of Admissions has constructed meaningful partnerships with the community-based organizations and schools listed below. To support their ongoing post-secondary advocacy work within the Rochester community, our activities have included campus visits (tours and information sessions), community-based workshops on college access and the University, special speakers, and unique community partnerships and programs. In addition, the schools listed are those with whom we have conducted special outreach activities, such as training for students and counselors, workshops for students and parents, and special visits for student groups.

Here are a few of the schools we are proud to partner with:

  • All City High
  • Charlotte High School
  • East High School
  • Edison Campus
  • Integrated Arts and Technology High School
  • James Monroe High School
  • Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School Commencement Academy
  • Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School Foundation Academy
  • Leadership Academy for Young Men
  • Northeast College Preparatory High School at Douglass
  • Northwest College Preparatory High School at Douglass
  • RCSD Counselor Group
  • Robert Brown High School of Construction and Design
  • Rochester Early College International High School
  • Rochester International Academy
  • Rochester STEM High School
  • School No. 16
  • School No. 33
  • School No. 41
  • School No. 58 (World of Inquiry)
  • School of the Arts
  • School Without Walls Commencement Academy
  • School Without Walls Foundation Academy
  • Vanguard Collegiate High School
  • Young Adult Evening High School

National Partnerships

National Partnerships

American Honors (AH) is a selective honors program offered in partnership with Community College (currently hosted at Community College of Philadelphia, Kilgore College, Jackson College, Pierce College, Community College of Spokane, Ivy Tech Community College, Mercer County Community College, and Union County College). AH helps enhance transfer opportunities for community college students by providing transfer pathways to top universities. AH offers students honors-level courses and personalized advising and support for transfer into a top university. Our partnership includes working with them to identify courses and develop specific academic pathways from the campuses, so that students maximize transfer credit and are on the path to completing their BA/BS in two years.

Chicago Scholars
As a Platinum College Partner, the University of Rochester is dedicated to supporting our Chicago Scholars with financial support, strong academic advising, and leadership opportunities from the time Scholars enroll until they graduate from college. We commit to the following:

  •  Meet 100% of demonstrated financial need through graduation for Scholars
  •  Sponsor a campus visit prior to the Scholar confirming enrollmentchicago scholars
  •  Include Scholars in first-year orientation program
  •  Provide an on-campus liaison for Scholars
  •  Involve Scholars in leadership opportunities

College Horizons
College Horizons is a pre-college program for Native American high school sophomores and juniors. Each summer, students work with college admissions officers, college counselors, essay specialists, and other educators in a five-day “crash course” on the college application process. The University of Rochester has been privileged to host the program in 2011 as part of our partnership and look forward to hosting again in the future. We send Admissions representatives each year to be a part of the program off campus.

The individualized program helps students:

    • Select suitable colleges to research and apply to.college horizons
    • Complete winning applications, résumés, and memorable essays.
    • Get test-taking strategies, information, and resources on the ACT and SAT.
    • Navigate the financial aid/scholarship process, complete a preliminary FAFSA, and learn about the Gates Millennium Scholarship Fund.
    • Develop relationships with Admissions representatives by attending our college fair, informational sessions, and one-on-one or small group class time.
    • Receive tips and strategies on the application process and get advice on how to succeed in college as a Native student.
    • Learn what turns an applicant into an admitted student.

Founded in 2000, the Hope Fund secures and coordinates scholarships from US colleges for talented and driven Palestinian youth, predominantly from refugee camps in the Arab world for which a higher education would otherwise be unattainable. We endeavor to enrich the lives of young people, creating hope out of despair while fostering familiarity and understanding between the two different cultures.

The Hope Fund has already assisted 17 students in completing their undergraduate degrees, all with excellent grades. Their outstanding work has helped us bring in more students to study in the US and has expanded the work of the Hope Fund as its reputation continues to grow each year. Currently, the Hope Fund is hosting 41 students in partnership with 30 colleges in the United States.

There are more than three-and-a-half million Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East, many of them living in extreme poverty. Higher education remains a dream for the children of these refugees. While UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) provides a limited number of schools, these facilities do not come close to accommodating the needs of this population. In Lebanon, for instance, there are only nine high schools to serve close to half a million people spread out throughout twelve camps. In Syria, the UN provides only a small number of elementary schools. In the West Bank and Gaza, the schools are overcrowded and impoverished, and often are closed for months at a time.

Horatio Alger Association 

The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. As such, the Association honors the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and who are committed to supporting young people in pursuit of increased opportunities through higher education. Today, through its Members, the horatioAssociation continues to educate our nation’s young people about the economic and personal opportunities afforded them by the promise of the American free-enterprise system. Through its scholarship programs, the Association encourages students to pursue their own version of the American Dream. While providing scholarship opportunities, the Association mentors its Scholars and underscores the importance of helping others.

The Horatio Alger Association Collegiate Partners Program is a consortium of colleges and universities who share the Association’s mission to:

  • Provide additional financial assistance to Horatio Alger Scholars with institutional aid (grants, work study, or tuition waivers) while not displacing other sources of non-loan aid to minimize the amount of debt incurred by Horatio Alger Scholars
  • Provide one point of contact on campus who can direct Scholars to available campus resources

While Scholars are not required to attend Collegiate Partner schools, the Association encourages its students to consider Partner institutions due to the increased resources available to them. Scholars that choose to apply to Partner schools must meet the school’s established admissions and retention requirements to be eligible for additional aid through the program.

Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Conference
HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop a global community of youth into a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. HOBY programs are conducted hobyannually throughout the United States, serving local and international high school students. The programs provide unique leadership training, service-learning opportunities, and motivational experiences for youth selected by their schools to participate.

The IMPACT Program began in 2006 as a way to boost college persistence for YES Prep graduates from Houston, TX. Since 2006, 84% of IMPACT Scholars have graduated from or are currently enrolled in their original IMPACT Partner or Affiliate institution. As a university partner, the University of Rochester commits to:

  • Attend the yearly IMPACT summer institute. The program serves as both an introduction to University of Rochester and as a mechanism for identifying/recruiting possible applicants.
  • Send a team of admissions staff and/or alumni to Houston for an information session and/or individual interviews for yes prepYES Prep students
  • Dedicate 3–5 spaces for YES Prep students to participate in the Multicultural Visitation Program and absorb all costs related to the trip.
  • Offer a campus visit to all admitted students that have not visit campus and have been designated as “UR IMPACT Scholars.”
  • Provide academic and emotional support to all enrolled Yes Prep students to ensure persistence and graduation.

To find out how you can become a designated IMPACT scholar please contact your college counseling staff at your YES Prep campus. For general information regarding the program, please visit YES Prep.

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is a $500 million, 10-year initiative to educate and prepare young people, particularly from Africa, to lead change and make a positive social impact in their communities. Rochester has partnered with the MCFS program through ALA and seeks to ensure that highly-qualified Africans from the most disadvantaged backgrounds on the continent have the opportunity to continue their education at top-tier universities around the world. Partner institutions make generous contributions to the overall costs of these students. In exchange, the partner universities benefit from annual enrollment of a cohort of the best and brightest young leaders of Africa to impact the classroom and campus life.

The National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS) was established in 1988 to provide a forum for specialized secondary schools focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to exchange information and program ideas.

Celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2013, the Consortium now includes approximately 100 member schools (high schools), many “ranked” as the best in the country, along with 55 affiliate members (colleges, universities, summer programs, foundations, and corporations) located in 32 states that share the goals of transforming mathematics, science, and technology education.

National Hispanic Institute
As part of our partnership with the National Hispanic Institute, we host the Lorenzo De Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session on our campus every year. This conference focuses on the organization national hispanic instituteand management of power as a foundational tool of leadership. This flagship program of the NHI offers students the opportunity to envision themselves as part of the future leadership of a 21st-century Latino community. LDZ participants are considered for a scholarship if they apply to the University of Rochester.

Founded in 2014, The Next Genius Foundation is a registered charitable trust in India that offers full and partial tuition scholarships to outstanding Indian high school students to pursue their undergraduate education in North America and Europe. We are the largest undergraduate study abroad scholarship fund in India. In the last two years, we have awarded scholarships worth $3.5 million to 39 students from 34 schools across India. In 2017, we hope to award over $6 million worth of scholarships to more than 70 students.

Their vision is to identify world changers, and connect them with outstanding educational and career opportunities. In working with these students—beginning in high school, through college and onto their careers—they hope to establish a community of future leaders who will leave a strong impact on society.

The Posse Foundation

The Posse Foundation has identified, recruited and trained 6,275 public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential to become Posse Scholars. Since 1989, these students have been receiving four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner institutions of higher education. Posse partner colleges  and universities are helping to transform the landscape of leadership in the United States by committing critical resources to diversifying their campuses, making their climates more welcoming to all students, and ensuring that Posse Scholars graduate with the finest education in the country. Most important, Posse Scholars persist and graduate at a rate of 90 percent and make a visible difference on campus and throughout their professional careers. The University of Rochester became a Posse school in 2013 for student in the D.C. area. As a Posse partner we:

  • Work together with The Posse Foundation to select 10 D.C. Posse students each year
    • Provide a minimum of a full-tuition grant to each selected studentposse
  • Designate and appoint a senior administrative officer to serve as a liaison to the Posse program
  • Identify a campus mentor for the incoming Posse
  • Host an annual PossePlus Retreat

Raise.me partners with colleges and universities to offer students scholarships starting in the ninth grade. Raise.me partners are committed to helping more students from all backgrounds prepare for a rigorous college education. Through Raise.me, colleges can engage talented students as early as ninth grade in a personal, constructive, and scalable way. Start your portfolio today and earn a micro-scholarship to Rochester.

SABIC is a petro corporation in Saudi Arabia that sponsors students to build their employee base. University of Rochester is one of 42 approved colleges in the World on the SABIC list. SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It manufactures on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients, and metals. The company has more than 35,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries, with innovation hubs in five key geographies—USA, Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, and North East Asia.

Say Yes to Education
Say Yes to Education is a nonprofit that revitalizes communities by helping them give every Say Yes public high school graduate access to college or other post-secondary scholarships. The Say Yes Higher Education Compact, which began in 2008, has added more than 60 private colleges and universities since 2013. The University of Rochester is one of these 60 schools and as a National Partner College, we agree to:

  • Ensure that Say Yes students whose annual family income is at or below $75,000 are eligible to receive scholarships covering the full cost of tuition, provided they successfully navigate the institution’s regular admission process.sayyes
  • Assist Say Yes students whose family income is above $75,000 and who are enrolled in a Compact institution are eligible to receive annual grants, from the organization itself, of up to $5,000.

Strive for College
Strive for College believes that every student who deserves a shot at college should get one, and our mission is to connect those students with the know-how and support they need to prosper.

Strive is a free online community where aspiring college students connect with dedicated mentors to receive one-on-one guidance and support through the college admissions and financial aid application process. In addition to a dedicated mentor, Strivers also have access to exclusive, data-based college matching tools and custom resources specifically for first-generation college students—and it is all accessible anytime, anywhere!

United World Colleges
UWC (United World Colleges) is a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.

Our partnership requires us to actively recruit, admit, and enroll UWC graduates each year. Failing to enroll any UWC graduates during any two consecutive years jeopardizes our partner school status. All UWC graduates who enroll must be designated as “Davis UWC Scholars” at the University of Rochester whether funded using our financial aid resources or not.  

University of International Business and Economics (IAC Pre-College Program Students)
The University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), situated in the northeast of Beijing, was founded in 1951. UIBE is a national key university jointly-sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Commerce, and is the top university in the fields of economics and business. 

The partnership between UIBE and the University of Rochester enables graduates of the IAC Pre-College Program at UIBE to be eligible for admission to the University of Rochester without requiring SAT or ACT scores.

Yes Prep
Yes Prep Public Schools will increase the number of students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead.

The IMPACT partnership agreement between the University of Rochester and YES Prep Public Schools dedicates at least three to five spaces for YES Prep students to attend MVP at the expense of the university. It also commits to providing 100% of the fly-in cost of all admitted YES Prep students that did not get the opportunity to attend MVP and meets the full demonstrated need of all admitted students. In addition, we will set aside at least one space of the annual counselor program for a YES Prep counselor and/or cover the costs of flying of at least one YES Prep counselor to accompany the students to the fall or spring fly-in program.

Zawadi Africa Education Fund
The Zawadi Africa Education Fund is a program designed to provide scholarships to academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds from Africa to pursue higher education in the US, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya. The Zawadi Africa Education Fund is based on the highly successful Kennedy/Mboya Student airlifts of the 1960s, through a partnership with individuals and institutions with an interest in creating leadership.