Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars

RIT is proud to offer the Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars program to full-time first-year students from public and charter schools within the Rochester City School District and the Urban-Suburban Interdistrict Transfer Program. Admitted students are eligible for full tuition covered through a combination of RIT scholarships, and state and federal need-based grants.

Scholars will be expected to participate in a fully-funded on-campus enrichment program that begins in the summer prior to the start of their freshman year. During this time, scholars can earn up to six college credits. Additionally, through the academic year, scholars will participate in one-on-one weekly meetings with a Coach in the Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS) along with receiving support, guidance and access to the already rich campus resources that are available.


  • Students must live in the city and attend an approved high school within the district, or Urban Suburban school, for the last three years of high school.
  • Students should apply for admission by January 15 to ensure full consideration, be accepted through RIT’s regular admission standards and maintain full-time status at RIT. The $65 application fee is waived. Upon acceptance the $500 enrollment deposit is waived as well.(Applications received after January 15 will be considered as long as space and funds remain available.)
  • The high school counselor, or Urban Suburban Program Director must complete and return the Student Eligibility Certification form to the Undergraduate Admissions Office.
  • The student’s total annual family income (including taxed and untaxed income) must not exceed $75,000.

DDI Summer Experience

To ensure a smooth transition to your full-time RIT studies, students admitted to the Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars program are required to participate in the division of Diversity and Inclusion’s Summer Experience, which is a residential summer program providing personalized one-on-one academic coaching, academic skills enhancement, a strong support network, and the opportunity to earn up to six RIT college credits.


headshotJ'Manuel Cortes said the Division of Diversity and Inclusion's Summer Experience has already given him a new crowd of friends. "We actually instantly clicked, and some of the connections you can tell are definitely going to be college-long or even lifelong." ”

J'Manuel Cortes 27
Photographic and Imaging 
Arts BFA (Advertising Photography Option)


headshotTaylor Drummond said the Division of Diversity Summer Experience has given her a leg up for her first semester. She stayed on campus for a part of the summer to take a few classes. "It was a great experience, honestly," she said. "I was able to make really great friends and now I have six credits already going into college."

Taylor Drummond 27
Marketing BS

headshot"The Rochester City Scholars Program was a life-changing opportunity for me as a first-generation college student with immigrant parents. Based on my experiences here, I am confident that the RIT community will support you academically, professionally, and in a variety of other ways that you have yet to discover. Regardless of what you want to do, RIT will provide you with the resources and tools you need to succeed!"

Karim Yaport 15
International and Global Studies/Psychology (double major)

2023 Rochester City Scholars



Abigail Dennis 

High School


Young Women’s College Prep
Jesse Whitcomb Rochester Prep HS


Emilia Rowe

School of the Arts

Macca Abd Rochester Early College International HS

Emery Coleman

Rochester Prep HS
Amir Bounasri Joseph C. Wilson Magnet HS
Jamisha Mcculley Rochester Prep HS
Xavier Wiggins World of Inquiry HS
Jeanelly Nunez Reyes School of The Arts
Jaraelys Felix Marcial  Franklin Upper HS
Joel Maldonado School of The Arts
Zanay Young Young Women’s College Prep
Zaniha Young Young Women’s College Prep
Si Mu World of Inquiry HS
Philiasophia Wood Urban Suburban- Brockport HS
Saniah Terry-Fulton

Joseph C. Wilson Magnet HS

J'Manuel Cortes J'Manuel Cortes
Bryan Ortiz Edison Career and Technology HS
Jordan Beaty World of Inquiry HS
Taylor Drummond Urban Suburban- Wheatland Chili HS
Prosper Holmes East Upper School
Jacen Mitchell Urban Suburban- East Rochester HS
Giovanni Ramirez Urban Suburban- Wheatland Chili HS
Nevaeh Gordon Joseph C. Wilson Magnet HS
Breanna Majors-Brown Rochester Early College International HS
Felicity Rivera Joseph C. Wilson Magnet HS