Gearing up for the Class of 2018: Freshman Applications Surge Past 18,500 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Media Relations

March 27, 2014

Gearing up for the Class of 2018: Freshman Applications Surge Past 18,500 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Another Record Year for Applications to Rensselaer

A record total of 18,569 high school students have filed applications to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this fall, according to numbers released today by the Rensselaer Office of Admissions. This year’s total represents an increase of approximately 17 percent from last year at this time.

“For nine consecutive years, Rensselaer has set records for freshman applications. This year, we reached a new record of 118,656 inquiries from students interested in attending Rensselaer. Since 2005, applications have grown by 233 percent,” said Paul Marthers, vice president for enrollment and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions. “The record application numbers indicate that Rensselaer continues to be very popular and highly valued.”

This year, more than 6,750 students have been admitted, for a 36 percent acceptance rate — which is the third lowest in Rensselaer’s history.

Marthers also noted that the average SAT critical reading and math score for the admitted group is 1417, the highest level ever and eight points higher than last year. Eighty-two percent of the students are coming from the top 10 percent of their high school classes.

The 2014 applicant pool also represents a continued expansion of the national and international profile of the student body, as well as a significant increase in applications from women, underrepresented minority students, international students, and Rensselaer “legacies” — students with relatives who attended the university.

In addition, the high achieving group includes students who have been nominated for the Rensselaer Medal, a scholarship awarded to the top math and science students at nearly 3,000 high schools around the world.

According to the Rensselaer Office of Admissions, this year’s overall increase in applications was also driven by greater numbers of students visiting campus, a higher conversion rate from the inquiry to the application stage, and new student life programs designed to enhance the overall student and educational experience. 

“Rensselaer continues to appeal to outstanding students who are interested in studying at a technological university,” Marthers said. “Here on campus we know that Rensselaer has historically been a top producer of future leaders and innovators, so it is very encouraging to see external evidence that more and more students value the high-quality academic and co-curricular programs that we offer.”

Rensselaer will host its annual Accepted Student Celebration event on April 5. For information regarding Rensselaer Admissions, visit:

In addition, members of the Class of 2018 will participate in Student Orientation at Rensselaer, which will be held during the month of July and early August. From Aug. 19 to Aug. 24, Rensselaer will officially welcome the members of the Class of 2018, and introduce them to the local community through a weeklong series of events known as “Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond” (NRB), coordinated by the Office of the First-Year Experience, part of the Division of Student Life at Rensselaer.  

Created under The Rensselaer Plan in 2001, NRB is usually organized around three general themes: adventure/team building; cultural/historical; and community service.

To catch an early glimpse of some of the sample activities that members of the Class of 2018 may experience, here’s a look at past videos: visit:


For general inquiries:

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit