Professional Re-Employment Education Program (PREP)

Support for workers who have been dislocated from their jobs as a result of economic or business conditions

RIT is here to help

If you have become unemployed in the last year due to an economic or business downturn, RIT is here to help you get back to work through advancing your education at a discount. This may be the perfect time to gain new skills to change careers or enhance your skills and knowledge to re-enter the workforce in a stronger position.

The Professional Re-employment Education Program (PREP ) is an RIT grant program designed to help dislocated workers become better equipped to re-enter the workforce. Students accepted into this program can pursue discounted undergraduate or graduate courses, either online or on campus, at 60% off campus tuition rates.

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Our goals

Assist dislocated workers in upgrading their skills or in pursuing new career areas

Capitalize on RIT’s extensive portfolio of programs and courses to assist in retraining and upskilling

Contribute to the overall economic well-being of the community

Enable separated employees to utilize their separation benefits to pursue RIT courses or degree programs


  • PREP enrollment is open to individuals who have worked full- time for a minimum of twelve consecutive months prior to separation from their employer. 
  • Only employees who are dislocated by economic or business conditions within one year will qualify. 
  • Those who voluntarily terminate their employment without benefits or who are terminated for cause are not eligible.
  • Employees who accept separation incentives as part of a corporate downsizing or other management-initiated reorganization may qualify for acceptance into the program with appropriate documentation.
  • Dislocated workers may enter the program during any academic semester. The day before the beginning of the subsequent academic semester, participants will be eligible to register for courses at a reduced tuition rate (for up to three consecutive academic semesters).
Collage of different types of business people in different situations.


Enrollment in the PREP program can be assisted by an admissions advisor;  intake counseling is available.Your admissions advisor will provide you with the application and answer any questions you may have

  • Prospective students must complete a PREP eligibility form and provide official documents verifying their dislocated worker status. Qualifying documents include: the original hiring & termination or notice of layoff letter OR an official NYS State Department of Labor Displaced Worker Certification OR similar documentation.
  • PREP applicants are interviewed, their employment status verified and offered career advice or referred directly to the appropriate academic department for advising. You may schedule an individual advising session with your admissions advisor, or send an email.  
  • Once approved and advised, PREP students are able to register on the last business day before classes begin to get their discounted tuition rate and and seats remaining in their desired class(es). Students who register before the approved PREP registration date risk losing their courses and having the PREP program grant withdrawn.
  • PREP students may register for one or more than one course. Full or part-time matriculated students will be considered for additional financial aid. Students who are in default on a student loan are not eligible for PREP or any other RIT aid.
  • After the registration is processed, PREP students work with the Financial Aid office to satisfy payment requirements.
  • PREP students then purchase textbooks and materials, obtain a student computer account, register for an RIT parking permit, and attend classes.
  • PREP participants are eligible for three consecutive semesters, unless academic performance falls below published university standards. If a PREP student must suspend their studies for a semester, a letter indicating the reason for the interruption must be sent to your admissions advisor.


Students enrolled through PREP may enroll in classes on a space-available basis. They must also meet prerequisites for classes requested. If needed, faculty may request a diagnostic test or other demonstration of readiness if an enrollee has not met prerequisites.

Some degree programs do not qualify for PREP support. Check with an advisor in the Office of Part-time and Graduate Enrollment Services to see if your area of interest is not covered.

Yes, dislocated workers who are already enrolled in degree programs at the time of their severance are eligible to participate in PREP.

No. You must be certified for PREP prior to registering for classes makes you eligible for the discounted tuition rate.

No, PREP applies only to credit-bearing classes. There is no program assistance available for audits or non-credit workshops, seminars, credit by examination, or experience.

Yes, students are eligible to take online courses. The 60% discount on tuition will be applied to the on-campus tuition rate for that academic year. PREP discounts are not available in addition to online tuition rate.

No, you may still receive PREP tuition assistance even as you begin your new job. 

Yes, enrollees may apply to matriculate in an approved RIT program with no change in benefit.

Yes, credit-bearing courses to update skills or comply with program requirements are all approved.

You may pay in full at the time of registration. If a third party (such as retraining benefit provider, Department of Labor, WorkForce Investment Act, etc.) will be paying your tuition, deferments are available. You are also encouraged to apply for financial aid.

Yes, however your offer of financial aid prior to acceptance into PREP will be recalculated. RIT scholarships and tuition waivers can not be used with the PREP grant.

Refunds are administered under the guidelines that appear in the RIT schedule of courses. All regular RIT policies related to withdrawal from classes and refunds are applicable to program participants.

Yes, students eligible to take classes in NTID may take classes at the NTID tuition rate.

NTID-supported RIT classes are available to students who qualify for NTID support when and where seats are available.