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Freshmen Admissions Process & Required Documentation

The first step is to complete the Undergraduate Application for admission by the January 15th application deadline.  Students may apply using the Common Application or the RIT Application, which has an online and paper version.  Applicants must select HEOP on the application for consideration.  Applicants completing the Common Application should select the application waiver for financial hardship.  On the RIT application, by selecting HEOP, the application fee is not required. 

The second step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by January 15th. The information on the FAFSA must be accurate and true. Please include the RIT school code 002806 and the applicant’s social security number.

IMPORTANT! If you select HEOP, your academic and financial eligibility will be verified by the Undergraduate Office of Admissions and the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. If approved by both, you will then receive the HEOP application materials by email.

It is critical that you follow deadlines throughout the process. Late application materials, including completion of the FAFSA, will result in applicants being excluded from the pool for the upcoming academic year.

STEP 1: Complete all HEOP application materials and submit directly to the HEOP Office within two weeks of receiving the application materials.

HEOP application materials are sent to all students deemed eligible for HEOP by Admissions and Financial Aid. You will receive the HEOP application materials by email. Please check your email daily!  The HEOP Application includes a request for your high school transcript, a counselor recommendation for HEOP, an application essay, and the financial worksheet. You will also have to provide supporting financial documentation as listed on the financial worksheet if you are accepted and commit to attending RIT.

STEP 2: Complete a personal interview.

All eligible freshman applicants who submit their application materials on time will be scheduled for a personal interview with HEOP representatives. Interviews for upstate applicants will be held in Rochester, NY, starting the third week of February. Interviews for downstate applicants will be held in New York City the last week of February/first week of March. Please note that interviews cannot be scheduled if our office has not received your application materials beforehand. After the first week of March, interviews for eligible applicants who have submitted application materials will be for possible waitlist only. After completing the interview, those students selected for entry through HEOP will be notified officially by Admissions by mid-March.

STEP 3: Return your commitment letter to RIT by May 1.

Accepted HEOP students do NOT need to pay a deposit. However, they MUST return their commitment letter indicating their decision to attend or not attend RIT by May 1. After May 1, applicants on the admissions waitlist will be contacted.

STEP 4: Submit financial documentation to the HEOP office by May 1.

Below is a list of the types of documentation needed for both taxable and non-taxable income sources:

Source of Income Amount If accepted into HEOP, the following documentation will be required
Adjusted gross income from wages $ Copy of all 2017 W-2 forms for both parent(s) and student Copy of the signed IRS Tax Return for both you, if you filed taxes, and your parent(s).
SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps)  $ Copy of the 2017 Social Services report. This report can be obtained online at
Social Security Benefits (i.e. survivor, disability, and/or retirement benefits) $ Copy of the 2017 Social Security benefits statement. Statement can be obtained online at
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) $ Copy of the 2017 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits statement. Statement can be obtained online at
Unemployment benefits $ Copy of the 2017 statement of unemployment benefits
Pension and/or annuity $ Copy of the 2017 statements of pension and/or annuity 
Veterans Non-Educational benefits $ Copy of the 2017 Veterans Non-Educational benefits statement
Child Support benefits  $ Notarized statement of child support and/or alimony
Foster Care benefits  $ Notarized statement of foster care placement. Statement must confirm foster care status and specify the total amount of income received in 2017 through social services or other agencies/programs.
Other financial income not reported on IRS forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ or 1099 $ End of year statement 
Total Income Received in 2017 $  


STEP 5: Complete the Financial Aid Verification Form and submit a tax transcript to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships by May 15.

Accepted students who intend to enter RIT will receive a letter from RIT’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships with the Verification Form and instructions for submitting the required tax transcript. Go to This is in addition to the documentation that needs to be provided to the HEOP office identified in Step 4.

The HEOP office provides ongoing guidance and communication to assist accepted students in submitting documentation. Please direct any questions regarding HEOP documentation to Kris Shamp at (585) 475-2506 or by email at

STEP 6: Successfully complete the Pre-Freshman Summer Program*

All incoming freshmen attend a summer pre-freshmen program, DDI Summer Experience. Please see the Summer Program page on the Services and Support tab for a full description of the summer program. Students live on campus while taking college credit courses and non-credit course(s). The credit courses can be applied to students’ degree requirements. Weekend cultural and social activities are sponsored by RIT. HEOP counselors meet regularly with each student. Peer and professional tutors and the use of computer labs also help students with the completion of classroom assignments. Summer tuition, room, board, and other costs are at no charge to the student.

*Students are highly encouraged to earn grades of B or better in the summer program. Students who earn grades of C or higher will be eligible to enter RIT as a full-time HEOP student the following fall semester. Students performing below these minimum standards will be subject to further review.