Freshman Admission

At RIT/NTID, deaf and hard-of-hearing students get a college experience unlike anywhere else. You’ll be part of a university with a national reputation for excellence, and get to learn, create and innovate with the very best. You’ll be part of an inclusive community that supports and guides your journey in a way that enables you to fit in and be who you are. You’ll get unparalleled access and support services unmatched by any other university.

Latest Updates

We are following COVID-19 moment-by-moment, acting in accordance with NY state guidelines, and using the best information possible (i.e. CDC, Rochester-based health agencies, location-specific information, etc.) to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Learn more about how we are RIT Ready. If you have any questions, please contact us at 585-475-6700, toll free in the U.S. and Canada at 866-644-6843, by videophone at 585-743-1366, or by email at NTIDAdmissions@rit.edu.

Act Sooner. Know Earlier.

Apply by January 1 to RIT's Friendly Early Decision Plan, so you receive Admissions and Financial Aid decisions earlier than other applicants. Our Friendly Early Decision plans are different than many other schools and offer special benefits to students who know what they want to do and what they need to get there.

Explore Benefits

Visit and Events

While we continue to do our part to flatten the curve, you can still experience RIT. We will be offering limited small group on-campus tours. Virtual options provide information about admission, financial aid, student life, and academics from the comfort of home. See below for options and availability. Students who attend one of these visit opportunities will have their application fee waived.

Students walking on RIT quarter mile

Explore RIT/NTID Virtually

Future On-Campus Events

  • Information Sessions
  • Interviews
  • Open Houses for Prospective and Admitted Students
  • Camps and Competitions for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Future Off-Campus Events

  • Hometown Information Sessions
  • School Visits
  • Camps and Competitions for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

To help you get a better understanding of Rochester Institute of Technology, we invite you to join us for one or more of our live online webinar sessions. Come and learn why more than 1,100 hard-of-hearing and deaf students and more than 14,000 hearing undergraduates choose RIT, and why it can be a great fit for you!

Admissions Overview Session for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students
Sept. 27, Oct. 14, Oct. 25, Nov. 15, Dec. 2, 2020
Get an in-depth look into our academic programs, campus life, reduced tuition for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, access and support services available, co-op program, and admissions requirements.
Register Now
Student Panel Session for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students
Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 8, Dec. 6, 2020
Meet current students and see what they say about our inclusive community and the undergraduate experience.
Register Now
Navigating the College Choice Process for Parents of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students
Nov. 18, 2020
Learn more about RIT and what makes it the best fit for deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ college success. Parents of current RIT/NTID students will discuss their students’ experiences at RIT, and answer questions.
Register Now
American Sign Language-English Interpretation Program Overview Session
Sept. 30, Oct. 21, Dec. 16, 2020

Get an overview of our ASL-English interpretation program and learn about an exciting career in sign language interpreting.
Register Now
Financial Aid Information Session for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students
Oct. 7, Nov. 4, 2020

Learn about reduced tuition, tips on navigating financial aid forms, and more.
Register Now
Q&A Information Session with Admissions Director
Dec. 13, 2020
Parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing students can get answers to their questions regarding admissions requirements, academic programs, access and support services, scholarships, campus life, and more.
Register Now
Financial Aid Information Session for Sign Language Interpreting Students
Oct. 28, 2020

Learn about reduced tuition, tips on navigating financial aid forms, and more.
Register Now
Vocational Rehabilitation
Dec. 9, 2020

Get an overview of VR, and learn how VR can help deaf and hard-of-hearing students plan and finance a college education.
Register Now

College search checklist and visit tips

The college search and application process can be a challenge, but you can stay organized using this helpful checklist app and visit tips. Download the free "College Checklist" app and visit tips PDF.
Learn More  

Ready to apply?

We're Test Optional and have Friendly Early Decision plans.

Get the information you need including:
Application checklist and deadlines
Academic preparation and requirements

Costs and Financial Aid

RIT/NTID receives support from the federal government, and as a result, deaf and hard-of-hearing students enrolled in any undergraduate degree program pay less than one-half of RIT’s tuition. The reduced tuition rate also applies for students enrolled in the American Sign Language-English Interpretation program.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students enrolled in graduate degree programs also pay a reduced tuition rate. At RIT/NTID, we pride ourselves on making a great education truly affordable.

RIT's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will assist you and your family in identifying sources of financial aid to help meet the cost of a quality education. We realize that you are taking an important step in your life—one that is exciting, yet challenging. Since you have many other things to consider as you prepare for college, we want to help make your financial aid experience as smooth as possible.

While the primary responsibility for your education rests with you and your family, the RIT Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will assist you in identifying additional financial aid resources. Currently, more than 13,500 RIT undergraduate and graduate students receive over $300 million dollars in financial assistance from federal, state, and institutional resources, in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and part-time employment. We expect to continue this commitment by assisting the same number of students for the upcoming academic year.

Start by filing the Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you have completed these forms, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will review your information and send you a financial aid package. Your financial aid award may include need-based grants, loans, or employment opportunities.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students can receive scholarships through our merit-based scholarship programs.

Merit-based scholarships are awarded in recognition of academic and extracurricular achievements, regardless of a student’s financial need. These scholarships are awarded based on a review of information already provided to NTID’s Office of Admissions as part of the admission process and no separate scholarship application is required.

Regardless, if you receive merit-based scholarships, you are encouraged to apply for Financial Aid by filing the Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

General guidelines pertaining to merit-based scholarships at RIT/NTID include the following:

  • Students who submit all required admission credentials by February 1 will automatically be considered for merit-based scholarships.
  • Entering students selected to receive an RIT/NTID merit-based scholarship will be mailed a notification letter specifying the scholarship amount and renewal requirements.
NTID President’s Scholarship

NTID President’s Scholarship is awarded to outstanding first-year RIT/NTID students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Recipients are selected based on a comprehensive review of the student’s academic record, ACT or SAT scores, activities, and demonstration of outstanding leadership and extracurricular activities. Award amounts are up to $4,000 annually.

NTID Scholarship for Academic Excellence

NTID Scholarship for Academic Excellence is awarded to outstanding RIT/NTID students. Recipients are chosen on the basis of the strength of their overall application materials including grade point average, ACT/SAT scores, activities and recommendations. Award amounts are up to $4,000 annually.

Associate+Bachelor’s Degree Scholarships

Students who are admitted to an Associate+Bachelor’s degree program are awarded an additional $1,000 when the student successfully enrolls in the bachelor’s degree program.

RIT Founder's Scholarships

Students accepted directly to RIT bachelor’s degree programs also are eligible for consideration for RIT Founder's Scholarships. Amounts are prorated in order to reflect the lower tuition rate for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Named to recognize the founders of RIT and its forerunners, Founder's Scholarships are awarded to freshmen who have excelled academically, are active and involved in their schools or community, or demonstrate special talents or abilities. Consideration also may 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. Scholarship awards are $2,500-$3,500 per year. Students qualifying for an additional RIT merit-based scholarship will automatically be awarded the scholarship with the highest amount. Renewable. All freshman applications submitted to RIT by November 1 or January 1 (Early Decision), January 15 (Regular Decision), or November 1 for spring entry will be reviewed for possible selection.

RIT Presidential Scholarships

Awarded to a select number of entering freshmen. Recipients demonstrate exceptional academic performance; receive exemplary letters of recommendation as well as strong entrance exam scores. Scholarship awards are $1,000-$4,500 per year. All freshman applications submitted to RIT by November 1 or January 1 (Early Decision), January 15 (Regular Decision), or November 1 for spring entry will be reviewed for possible selection.

Incentive Scholarship

NTID’s Incentive Scholarship is awarded to first-year RIT/NTID students who are deaf or hard of hearing and are planning to enroll in one of NTID’s Associate Degree programs. Recipients are selected based on a comprehensive review of the student’s academic record, ACT or SAT scores, activities, and demonstration of leadership and extracurricular activities. Students are awarded $3,000 annually.

Maguire Scholarship

The Maguire Scholarship is awarded to outstanding students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Recipients are selected based on a comprehensive review of the student’s academic record, ACT or SAT scores, activities, and demonstration of outstanding leadership and extracurricular activities. Students are awarded $5,000 annually. Funds are provided by The Maguire Foundation.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

You might not be aware that your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation office is an important resource available to you to help you plan and finance a college education. VR offices exist in every state, and VR counselors work with high schools, junior colleges and universities across the country to help students who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have disabilities get the education they need for career success. VR may assist with vocational training or college.

VR services may include financial assistance, employment planning, counseling, transportation, and job placement assistance. A VR counselor, who determines eligibility for services, is assigned to each individual requesting assistance. States have various names for VR, and services vary depending on need and the state in which a student lives.

If you have questions about VR related to RIT/NTID, please contact the NTID Student Financial Services Office:

Denise Hampton
Assistant Director
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
585-475-2582 (V)
dchsfa@rit.edu

Barbara Polle
Coordinator, NTID Student Financial Services
585-475-6863 (voice/TTY)
585-286-5516 (VP)
blpnod@rit.edu

Alicia Johnson
Assistant Director, NTID
Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
Rochester Institute of Technology
56 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623
585-475-2186
ntidaid@rit.edu

State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies can be an important resource in helping deaf and hard-of-hearing students fund their education. VR can provide invaluable assistance in helping you obtain your college degree so you can realize your career goals. Click on your state below for information about VR services and support in your state.

What is Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)?

Vocational Rehabilitation is a federal- and state-funded program that provides financial and other types of support for employment- and education-related services and training to assist individuals with disabilities to qualify for, find or keep a job. The services available through VR for college students with hearing loss are designed specifically to meet the needs of the individual student.

Is my student eligible for services through VR?

To be eligible for services through VR, your student must meet the following federally mandated guidelines:

  • Your student must have a documented physical, mental, emotional or learning disability that has a significant impact on your student’s ability to get a job.
  • Your student must require VR services to find, keep and succeed in a job.

Meeting with the VR counselor in your area can help determine if your student is eligible.

How can my student apply for VR?

Your student should contact a guidance counselor, teacher, principal or other school representative who can provide an application and make a referral. You also can contact your area’s VR office directly to get an application and set up an interview with a VR counselor.

How does my student qualify for services?

Based on your student's application and interview, the assigned VR counselor will decide whether or not your student qualifies for services. What services are available for my student? Services vary depending on need and the state in which your student lives. Each state agency has its own eligibility criteria, application process and methods for deciding the level of support it will provide. If your student is eligible, the VR counselor will work with him/her to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The IPE has three basic parts: the individual’s job goals, the services needed to be successful in those job goals, and the process for review of progress toward goal achievement. This IPE is based on your student’s abilities, strengths, priorities, concerns, interests and resources.

When should we contact our VR office?

Students should contact VR during their junior year of high school or earlier to allow themselves sufficient time to work with a VR counselor to determine employment goals prior to entering college.

Should the parent/guardian go with the student to meetings with his/her VR counselor?

Parent’s/Guardian’s participation in the VR process is very important, especially if the student is underage. Go to the first meeting, then stay in touch to make sure VR’s planning activities are consistent with the plans you and your student are making with the college your student plans to attend.

What are some questions to ask VR?

A few questions you can ask VR to get your discussion underway include:

  • How does my state decide how much funding my student will receive?
  • How long will it take to determine if my student is eligible?
  • If I claim my student on my taxes, does that affect VR support?
  • If my student receives SSI benefits, how will this benefit affect VR funding?
  • Does VR support cover the cost of career-related summer programs for high school students?
Will VR pay for all services in the IPE?

VR might not cover all of your student’s expenses related to college. Contact RIT’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Office about other sources of financial support, including scholarships.

Can my VR state agency refuse to support my student from attending an out-of-state college, such as RIT?

No. According to the Rehabilitation Act, federal regulations state clearly that state agencies cannot establish policies that “effectively prohibit the provision of out-of-state services.” However, a state agency "may establish a preference for in-state services," as long as there are provisions to ensure that your student is not denied a necessary service. If the out-of-state program costs more than an in-state service, and it is determined that either service would meet your student’s rehabilitation needs, the VR system is not responsible for costs in excess of the cost of the in-state service. Your student can still choose an out-of-state service, and the VR system would be responsible for the costs of the out-of-state program, up to the cost of the in-state program.

If there is no program within the state that will enable your student to meet his/her employment goal, the state must have a process to fully fund the out-of-state program (subject to any financial need criteria the state may have established). Generally, VR offices have a written policy covering this situation.

What if I disagree with VR’s decision?

If you disagree, you have the right to appeal. To initiate an appeal, you or your student should write to the director of your state VR office and identify the reason(s) for the appeal and the action you wish the office to take. In addition, each state has a Client Assistance Program, which can provide you with advice and assistance in resolving issues and concerns. In most cases, an individual issue or concern is addressed without having to conduct a formal appeal hearing. Get more information on appealing a VR decision.

If my student receives SSI benefits, how will services through VR affect this benefit?

Contact the Social Security Administration District Office to get specific information about the impact of VR services on your student’s SSI benefits.

Will VR support automatically continue until my student graduates from college?

No, VR support must be assessed each semester. Your student is expected to maintain good academic standing and is required to maintain contact with their VR counselor and to keep the counselor up to date with all transcripts, changes in courses or curricula, financial status or problems encountered.

If I am receiving VR support, do I still need to file a FAFSA?

Yes, you need to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in your student’s last year of high school and each year while your student is attending college. The FAFSA is available after October 1 of your student’s senior year.

Will VR support my student to participate in transition programs that will help lead them to identify their career interests?

VR may support your student to participate in activities related to his/her transition planning from high school to college, such as the NTID’s Explore Your Future (EYF) program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. By participating in transition programs like EYF, your student begins the process to prepare for life after high school. Through self-assessment and hands-on activities, your student will learn more about how to match his/her interests, personality and skills to a career and career-education options. To find out if your VR office will support transition planning programs like EYF, contact your VR counselor.

Online transition planning programs also are available for your student to help him/her learn about his/her career interests and goals.

How do I get more information about VR Services?

Contact the VR office closest to your home. VR programs are known by different names in different states, but you can find information in your local telephone directory under "State Government."

If you and your student believe that RIT/NTID is the best choice, and Vocational Rehabilitation denies funding, you can appeal VR’s decision.

In your appeal, you must demonstrate why your student will have a better opportunity to succeed at RIT/NTID than at another college. Here are some facts you can use in your appeal:

  1. Outstanding Job Placement Rate—Last year, 95 percent of deaf and hard-of-hearing RIT/NTID graduates who chose to enter the workforce found employment after graduation.
  2. Impressive Persistence and Graduate Rates—First-year persistence rates and graduation rates for both associate- and bachelor-level deaf and hard-of-hearing students at RIT/NTID are higher than the national rates for students in community colleges and other four-year colleges.
  3. Higher Earnings for Graduates—A recent study by NTID and the Social Security Administration shows that completing a degree from RIT/NTID has significant economic benefits for deaf and hard-of-hearing graduates. At age 50, deaf and hard-of-hearing RIT/NTID graduates with a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree earn 178% and 95% more, respectively, than deaf and hard-of-hearing students who graduate from other postsecondary institutions around the country.
  4. Exceptional Value & Affordability—Because RIT receives special federal support for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, those students pay less than one-half of RIT’s regular tuition rate.
  5. Unparalleled Access and Support Services—RIT/NTID provides the most accessible educational community in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
    • Deaf and hard-of-hearing students enrolled in RIT bachelor’s degree programs will have access to more than 150 sign language interpreters, the largest staff of professional and skilled interpreters of any college program in the world, each with an average of 14 years of experience. There also are more than 50 captionists and hundreds of notetakers whose classroom notes are uploaded onto a website for easy access by deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
    • For deaf and hard-of-hearing students enrolled in associate degree programs, instructors will communicate directly with students using a variety of communication strategies, which may include sign language with voice, sign language without voice, spoken language (FM systems are available), fingerspelling, printed/visual aids, Web-based instructional materials and individualized tutoring. In cases where a faculty member's communication strategies do not appropriately meet their needs, students can request access services from the Department of Access Services for courses at NTID via the MyAccess.RIT.edu website.
    • Tutors, advisors and faculty and staff members who have experience working with deaf and hard-of-hearing students are available to help students succeed.
    • On-campus audiologists provide services related to hearing and hearing aids, cochlear implants and assistive devices, and speech-language pathologists offer a broad range of speech and language services.
  6. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students at RIT complete a required cooperative work experience that provides them with real-world job experience in their field of study before they graduate.
  7. Job Search Assistance—Unlike career placement offices at most other colleges, RIT/NTID employment specialists travel coast to coast meeting with employers, building relationships and educating the marketplace about the value of hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing RIT/NTID students and graduates. They also provide job search and interview preparation services, and host an annual on-site career fair specifically for deaf and hard-of-hearing students with employers from across the country.
  8. RIT/NTID’s 50 years of experience and expertise in teaching English to deaf and hard-of-hearing students set the college apart from other colleges. The college offers a strong English program that enables deaf and hard-of-hearing students to develop their English literacy skills. An English remediation program also is available to those deaf and hard-of-hearing students who need additional support.
  9. With more than 1,100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students on campus, RIT/NTID has made sure the campus is fully accessible. Classrooms and laboratories support the latest technologies for teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Academic and residence halls are equipped with visual emergency warning systems.
  10. RIT/NTID offers more than 300 clubs and organizations for deaf and hard-of-hearing students to develop their professional, leadership and life skills. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students participate fully in the campus community, and for many students this is an integral part of their success at RIT/NTID and after graduation.

All of these factors set RIT/NTID apart from other colleges in the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

You and your student are encouraged to work with your VR counselor and exhaust all options to reach a consensus about supporting your student at RIT/NTID. If, after making your case, you and your student still cannot reach an agreement with VR, you have the right to appeal the decision and request a review of the case by your state’s Client Assistance Program representative who can provide you with advice and assistance in resolving issues and concerns. Your CAP representative can also help you request mediation services, where a third party will be brought in to try and negotiate a compromise between your student and VR.

When your concerns are not resolved through this process, your CAP representative can assist you with requesting an administrative review by a supervisor. Each state is different, but if your appeal is denied at this level then you can request your case to go to the Appeals Board. The Appeals Board is composed of appointees who are neutral, objective and have familiarity with federal and state rehabilitation laws and regulations. The board will make a decision, which is usually adopted by the VR agency.

Again, each state is different in its appeal process, so you need to check your state’s VR written materials or website for your student’s rights and remedies.

International Students

RIT is an exceptional college choice for deaf and hard-of-hearing students from all countries.

RIT provides excellent academic programs, outstanding access and support services, and diverse educational, social and personal development opportunities that you won't find anywhere else in the world. If you're looking for a superior education and a truly unique college experience, you'll find it here at RIT/NTID.

Among RIT's 18,000 students are hundreds of international students, including nearly 100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students from countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.

RIT/NTID has welcomed students from countries around the world, including deaf and hard-of-hearing students from places like Australia, Bolivia, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and others!

International Student Information

Accepted Students

Pay RIT Admission Deposit
Pay by credit card, eCheck, mail payment or wire transfer

Student Enrollment Procedures Checklist
Review the checklist to finalize your enrollment plans

International Student Guide
A comprehensive arrival guide of international students

Events for Accepted Students

  • Open House
    Accepted students are invited to spend the day on campus for a variety of tours and activities
  • On-line Information Sessions
    For those of you who can’t make it to campus, we host several online information sessions throughout the year.

Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Information for Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Thank you for your interest in RIT. The following events are designed to help you assist your deaf and hard-of-hearing students in making college choices that are right for them.

We invite you to join us for an Educator of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Virtual Information Session. During our presentation, we will discuss what makes RIT an engaging and best-fit option for college-bound deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and to update your knowledge of our institution.

Register

We invite you to join us for a virtual information session for teachers of the deaf and other professionals at Schools for the Deaf. During our presentation, current RIT/NTID students from Schools for the Deaf will discuss what makes RIT/NTID an engaging and best-fit college for them. We’ll also present a brief admissions overview to let you know what is new this year, including RIT’s move to SAT/ACT test optional.

Register

Contact Admissions

temp

We're here to help

If you have questions or would like to request more information, get in touch.

  585-475-6700 (voice)
  585-743-1366 (videophone)
  ntidadmissions@rit.edu
  Meet Your Admissions Counselor

NTID Office of Admissions

Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623
Getting to Admissions and Aid 
Staff Directory