Merit-Based Scholarships

First-Year Merit-Based

The first step to be considered for merit-based scholarships is to apply for admission.

All admitted incoming students are reviewed by the Scholarship Selection Committee to determine if they qualify for standard RIT merit-based scholarships. No separate application is required and demonstrated financial need is not considered when selecting recipients.

  • Merit-based scholarships are competitive and are awarded in recognition of exceptional or outstanding academic achievement.
  • Consideration may also be given to outstanding leadership, service, entrepreneurship, citizenship, or creativity. Portfolio evaluations or other evidence of creative excellence will also be considered for applicants to art, crafts, design, film, and photography programs.
  • To receive full consideration, applicants for fall entry must apply by applicable deadlines. Students who meet the eligibility requirements for multiple RIT merit-based scholarships will be awarded the highest valued scholarship unless otherwise indicated.

Additional Merit-Based Scholarships

In addition to the award criteria listed above, the merit-based scholarships shown below have specific selection criteria and/or application procedures.

Eligibility

Offered to admitted first-year students who are National Merit Scholarship finalists and name RIT as their first choice school for NMSC.

Additional Information

$2,000 per year. RIT will receive finalist confirmation from NMSC.   

Renewable as long as student meets NMSC guidelines.

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.

 

Eligibility

Offered to admitted first-year students who are recognized by the College Board’s African-American Recognition, Hispanic Recognition, Indigenous Recognition, and Rural and Small Town Recognition programs.

Additional Information

$2000 per year.  RIT will receive confirmation of eligibility from the College Board NHRS program. 

Renewable.

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.

Eligibility

Offered to outstanding admitted first-year applicants who have participated on a high school FIRST team.

How to apply

Complete and submit the scholarship application at rit.edu/first-scholarship.

Must apply for admission to RIT by January 15 to be considered.

Additional Information

$8,000 per year.

Renewable.

Cannot be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships of higher value. 

Eligibility
Offered to outstanding admitted first-year students who have completed two or more PLTW (Project Lead the Way) courses.
 
 
 
Additional Information

$8,000 per year. 

Must apply for admission to RIT by January 15 to be considered.

Up to 20 are awarded each year.

Renewable.

Cannot be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships of higher value.

 

Eligibility
Admitted first-year students who are outstanding graduates of the Hillside Work Scholarship Connection Program.
 
 
 
Additional Information

$12,000 per year.

Recipients are identified based on involvement in the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program.

Must apply for admission to RIT by January 15 to be considered.

Renewable.

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.

Eligibility
Students who have distinguished themselves academically, and demonstrate an ability in computing may be nominated by their high schools in their junior year.
 
 
 
Additional Information

$8,000 per year.

Nominated students must be admitted and enroll at RIT in the fall immediately following their high school graduation.

Renewable.

Cannot be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships of higher value.

Eligibility

Students who have distinguished themselves academically, and demonstrate outstanding achievement in innovation, creativity, or entrepreneurship, may be nominated by their high schools in their junior year.

Additional Information

$8,000 per year.

Nominated students must be admitted and enroll at RIT in the fall immediately following their high school graduation.

Renewable.

Cannot be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships of higher value.

Eligibility

Recognizes individual achievement and talent in the performing arts. Regardless of major, all full-time admitted first-year undergraduates are eligible for consideration. 

Learn more about our Performing Arts programs

How to apply

First-year applicants to RIT are eligible to apply for the Performing Arts Scholarship, regardless of intended major.

The application consists of a series of questions regarding your performing arts experiences and goals, and a place to provide performance examples via YouTube or Vimeo. 

Use the link below to begin. An authenticated login is required. Use your RIT application account login credentials.

Apply

Additional Information

Amounts vary.

Renewable each year you are involved in performing arts at RIT.

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.

Eligibility

Offered to students who are referred for admission to RIT by an alumnus/alumna of the university.

How to be referred

An alumnus/alumna must refer a student for the RIT Alumni Referral Award. Referral forms must be received by the Office of Admission by the application deadline for the student's selected admission program. Nominations submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Scholarship dollars cannot be granted retroactively for this program.

Additional Information 

$1,000 per year.

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.

Eligibility
Students enrolling in ROTC who are academically qualified.
 
 
 
Additional Information

Amounts are determined by ROTC.

Contact the appropriate ROTC office:

Air Force: 585-475-5197

Army: 585-475-2881

Navy: 585-275-9028

Eligibility

Students who have accepted 3 or 4 year Army, Navy, or Air Force ROTC scholarships, enrolled in ROTC, and are academically qualified.

Additional Information

These students are eligible for this award starting in year 1. This scholarship is equivalent to the standard dorm room and default meal plan charges. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for details regarding your individual financial aid offer.

Eligibility

Eligibility depends on veteran benefit being sought.

Additional Information

Contact the Veterans and Military Services Office at 585-475-6641 or visit our Military & Veterans website.

Can cover up to full cost of attendance depending on program and other aid sources

Eligibility

Offered to admitted first-year students students who have been recognized as Urban League Black Scholars.

Additional Information

Applicants for admission will automatically be considered. Must apply for admission to RIT by January 15 to be considered.

Recipients will receive a total of $2,000 through the William A. Johnson Jr. Scholarship.

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.

 

 

Transfer Merit-Based

The first step to be considered for merit-based scholarships is to apply for admission.

All admitted incoming students are reviewed by the Scholarship Selection Committee to determine if they qualify for standard RIT merit-based scholarships. No separate application is required and demonstrated financial need is not considered when selecting recipients.

  • Merit-based scholarships are competitive and are awarded in recognition of exceptional or outstanding academic achievement.
  • Consideration may also be given to outstanding leadership, service, entrepreneurship, citizenship, or creativity. Portfolio evaluations or other evidence of creative excellence will also be considered for applicants to art, crafts, design, film, and photography programs.
  • To receive full consideration, applicants for fall entry must apply by applicable deadlines. Students who meet the eligibility requirements for multiple RIT merit-based scholarships will be awarded the highest valued scholarship unless otherwise indicated.

Additional Merit-Based Scholarships

In addition to the award criteria listed above, the merit-based scholarships shown below have specific selection criteria and/or application procedures.

Eligibility

Offered to transfer students with an associate degree elected to Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Additional Information

Renewable as long as student remains in good academic standing. 

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.

How to Apply

Proof of PTK membership must be submitted with transfer application.

 

 

Eligibility
Offered to transfer students to recognize outstanding graduates of the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program.
 
 
 
Additional Information
Renewable as long as student remains in good academic standing.  May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships                       
 
 
 
How to Apply
Recipients are identified based on previous college performance, personal recommendations, and involvement in the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program.
Eligibility

Recognizes individual achievement and talent in the performing arts. Regardless of major, all full-time admitted freshman undergraduates are eligible for consideration. 

Learn more about our Performing Arts programs

How to apply

Transfer applicants to RIT are eligible to apply for the Performing Arts Scholarship, regardless of intended major. 

The application consists of a series of questions regarding your performing arts experiences and goals, and a place to provide performance examples via YouTube or Vimeo. 

Use the link below to begin. An authenticated login is required. Use your RIT application account login credentials.

Apply

Additional Information

Renewable each year you are involved in performing arts at RIT.

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.

Eligibility

Students enrolling in ROTC who are academically qualified.

Additional Information
Renewable as long as student remains in good academic standing.  
 
 
 
How to Apply

Contact the appropriate ROTC office:

Air Force: 585-475-5197

Army: 585-475-2881

Navy: 585-275-9028

Eligibility

Offered to Army, Air Force, or Navy ROTC cadets awarded three- or four-year scholarships prior to enrollment.

Additional Information
Renewable as long as student remains in good academic standing.
 
 
 
How to Apply

Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Eligibility

Eligible students must be approved for Post 9/11 benefits at the 100% tier.

Additional Information

Renewable as long as student remains in good academic standing.  

How to Apply

Contact the Veterans and Military Services Office, 585-475-6641

Eligibility

Offered to students who are referred for admission to RIT by an alumnus/alumna of the university. 

How to be referred

An alumnus/alumna must refer a student for the RIT Alumni Referral Award. The referral form must be received prior to the time of application submission. Nominations submitted after the student applies will not be accepted. Scholarship dollars cannot be granted retroactively for this program.

Additional Information

$1,000 per year.

May be combined with other RIT merit-based scholarships.