At Rensselaer, Freshman Applications Jump 100 Percent in Three Years
Applications increase another 10 percent from 2007
to new record level
Troy, N.Y. — More than 11,000 high school students have
filed applications to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
according to numbers released today by Rensselaer Admissions.
The record number of applications for 2008 is up 10 percent
from the previous year, and it is more than double the number
received just three years ago in 2005.
“We could not be more pleased to see such a broad spectrum
of talented applicants from across the country and around the
world,” said James G. Nondorf, vice president for enrollment
and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions. “Over the
past several years, we have seen an expansion of the national
and international profile of the student body, as well as a
significant increase in applications from women,
underrepresented minorities, and those who are interested in
new areas of Rensselaer’s expanding curriculum.”
As of Jan. 17, Rensselaer Admissions had received 11,200
total applications. This record number is a more than 10
percent increase over the previous year and represents a growth
of 100 percent since 2005, when the Institute received just
over 5,500 applications.
Other figures of interest over the past three years are
- Applications from female students have increased by more
than 300 percent.
- Applications from underrepresented minorities have
increased by more than 650 percent.
- Applications from international students have increased
by more than 1,100 percent.
- Applications from students interested in science and
biotechnology have increased by more than 250 percent.
- Applications from students interested in the arts,
humanities, and social sciences have increased by more than
The academic quality of applicants also continues to rise.
The Class of 2011, which started classes in fall 2007, had an
average SAT score up almost 20 points from the previous year,
and more than 65 percent of the students came from the top 10
percent of their high school classes.
And applicants have been showing a greater interest in
opportunities for undergraduate research, Nondorf said. A
growing number of students have been involved with research
projects in high school, and they see Rensselaer as a place to
continue pursuing discovery with faculty who are at the top of
Expanding participation in undergraduate research is a key
part of The Undergraduate Plan, which calls for
challenging, engaging, and highly relevant academic programs
that combine theory with experiential learning.
New facilities and initiatives have fueled this increased
interest across the board, according to Nondorf. In 2004,
Rensselaer opened a new Center for Biotechnology and
Interdisciplinary Studies, and in September 2007, Rensselaer
celebrated the grand opening of the Computational Center for
Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) — a $100 million partnership
to create the world’s most powerful university-based
supercomputing center. The upcoming Experimental Media and
Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), which will open in October
2008, is drawing the attention of artists and scientists from
around the world.
In addition to the promise of EMPAC, new programs also have
generated growing interest in the arts at Rensselaer. The
Institute recently added a bachelor of science degree in
Design, Innovation, and Society, while also launching a new
undergraduate degree program in Games and Simulation Arts and
Sciences (GSAS). The major — which builds off the success of
the School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ highly popular
game studies minor, created in 2004 — will equip graduates with
a suite of integrated skills necessary for leaders in the game
development industry. The interdisciplinary program shared by
the arts and cognitive science departments combines classes in
game design with a range of courses in the arts, such as
digital imaging, animation, computer music, and performance
Contact: Jason Gorss
Phone: (518) 276-6098