Service Scholars Program

In 1996, St. John Fisher University introduced the Service Scholars Program, created to provide meaningful community engagement in the Rochester community in partnership with local nonprofit organizations. Understanding that no single organization or individual can solve complex social problems alone, but through collaboration, collective impact can be realized.

About the Service Scholars Program

Each year, the Service Scholars Program awards a scholarship to 24 qualified high school students who exhibit a high degree of motivation, academic potential, and outstanding commitment to community. 

Through this competitive program, selected students come to campus with a passion for civic and community engagement, develop as leaders, and cultivate a practice of impactful engagement with community. The scholarship award reduces tuition and room and board fees by one-half, for up to four years, in exchange for full participation in programming each semester.

Service Scholars are expected to continue their community engagement while completing the curricular components of the program.

Scholarship Criteria

Interested students must apply to the Service Scholars Program and meet the following criteria:

  • Have demonstrated a high degree of motivation and academic success throughout high school.
  • Have demonstrated commitment to leadership and community engagement through service activities with community organizations such as school, neighborhood, nonprofit agencies, or places of worship.
  • Be a high school senior planning to enter Fisher directly after graduating.

Note: Regular admission standards typically include a high school GPA of B/B+ and a strong high school curriculum.
Students applying for HEOP are not eligible for the Service Scholars Program.

Program Requirements

To maintain good standing as a Service Scholar and receive all benefits of the scholarship, students must successfully:

  • Engage in full-time study as a matriculated student.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of degree requirements.
  • Complete the two-course learning community during the fall semester of their first year.
  • Complete the weekly Community Engagement Seminar series during the first year of enrollment.
  • Complete all successive courses and seminars the Program offers.
  • As a sophomore, junior, and senior, meet program hour requirements and fulfill a commitment to weekly community engagement with a local nonprofit organization during each year of enrollment at the University.

Benefits of the Service Scholars Program

The Service Scholars Program creates opportunities for community engagement such as this meal packaging project in the movement to end hunger.

The Service Scholars Program creates opportunities for community engagement such as this meal packaging project in the movement to end hunger.

Services Scholars have access to outstanding faculty and staff who empower them to discover their natural abilities and develop their minds. Other benefits include:

  • Seminars to empower Scholars as leaders and engaged citizens.
  • Training to prepare Scholars for thoughtful, empathetic, and culturally responsive participation in community engagement activities.
  • Support to build critical thinking skills throughout the experience.

Partnering with the Greater Rochester Community

Community Engagement Experiences

Through the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement's partnerships with local nonprofits, sophomore, junior, and senior Scholars have the opportunity to support the greater Rochester community. Community engagement experiences provide academic enrichment and preparation for career and leadership. Specific information about community engagement hours is provided by the Associate Director of the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

Fisher-Sponsored Transportation to Civic Engagement Sites

Scholars should find their own transportation to off-campus programs and civic engagement sites. St. John Fisher University will endeavor to provide transportation to off-campus programs for Scholars who live on campus (subject to availability, budgeting limits, and other transportation demands). Fisher has no liability for any transportation method used by any student, other than transportation on official Fisher vehicles. Please plan accordingly.