Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


A world-class university reflects the world. Rensselaer strives to create an inclusive environment that develops true intellectual, geographic, gender and ethnic diversity in its students, faculty and staff. RPI prides itself on providing an intellectually rigorous undergraduate education based on innovation in the laboratory, classroom and studio. Its commitment to diversity is focused on engaging the best talent available and preparing students to work, communicate across cultural boundaries and emerge as leaders in the global community.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Pre-College Prep & Outreach STEP: Science & Technology Entry Program

The RPI Science & Technology Entry Program is funded by the New York State Department of Education. It is designed to assist disadvantaged secondary students and those from minority groups under-represented in scientific, technical and health-related professions to acquire the skills, attitudes and abilities to pursue professional or pre-professional study in postsecondary degree programs. The program’s initiatives focus on developing problem solving and critical thinking skills through a range of enrichment activities that include student development, leadership opportunities, career exploration, college preparation, internships and parent workshops. Rensselaer activities occur after school and Saturdays during the school year, and in the summer. RPI supports students entering grades 7 through 12 attending its partner schools, as well as students who live in neighboring communities as space permits. Learn more about STEP: Science & Technology Entry Program

Pre-College Summer Experience The Rensselaer PREFACE Program

The Rensselaer PREFACE Program is a two-week residential summer experience for talented high school sophomores and juniors, who will enter eleventh or twelfth grade in the fall of the coming year and who have expressed a strong, early interest in pursuing a career in the engineering and technological professions. It is for high school students from groups that have been historically and traditionally under-represented or underserved in the fields of technology, science and engineering. Learn more about The Rensselaer PREFACE Program

Pre-College Summer Experience ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp provides middle school students with an insider’s look at engineering and other science careers. Former NASA astronaut Bernard Harris and ExxonMobil have partnered to provide academic enrichment camps on university campuses. Throughout the two-week residential program, students work side by side with ExxonMobil engineers and scientists as they conduct experiments, participate in highly interactive projects and demonstrations, attend classes and weekly field excursions and interact with guest speakers.

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Science, Technology, Arts at Rensselaer Program (STAR)

The Science, Technology, Arts at Rensselaer Program allows prospective students to experience life as a Rensselaer student—attend classes, tour campus, visit our laboratories and facilities and visit with current Rensselaer students. Academically talented, under-represented minorities and young women are invited to apply for the STAR program at Rensselaer.

Student Life & Support Under-Represented Minorities in Engineering

Under-Represented Minorities in Engineering provides scholarships and resources for underrepresented minority students. Rensselaer believes that today’s modern complex world requires exceptional multidisciplinary leaders to solve problems at home and abroad.

Student Diversity

  • 6,200
  • 68/32
  • n/a
    First-generation college students
  • n/a
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 11%
  • 3%
    Black or African American
  • 9%
  • n/a
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 57%
  • 7%
    Two or more races
  • 2%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 11%

Student Success

  • 93%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 84%
    Six-year graduation
  • 81%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 100%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 57%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 423
    Full-time faculty
  • 29
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 15:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Engineering, Computer and Information Science, Business, Architecture, Biology

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Alianza Latina (AL), Black Students Alliance (BSA), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)


Cost of Attendance

  • $49,520
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $1,277
    Required Fees
  • $14,630
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $125,536,157
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $30,943
    Average aid package
  • $35,000
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 16%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 65%
    Students with financial need
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 20%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 18,524
    # of applicants
  • 44%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • 30
    ACT Composite
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Critical Reading
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Math
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 01/15
    Regular application closing date
  • $70
    Application Fee
  • $70
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/01
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date