Ready To Change the World!

Meet the Members of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Class of 2020

August 16, 2016

More than 1,700 students—represent the largest incoming Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute class in the Institute’s history.

Troy, N.Y. – With the fall semester around the corner, more than 1,700 students—representing the largest incoming Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute class in the Institute’s history—will make their way to campus this weekend. Members of the Rensselaer Class of 2020 promise to be an exceptional group and represent the next generation of leaders, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, and innovators, in fields ranging from engineering to architecture, from fine arts to science, and from management to information technology.

The first-year students hail from 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and from countries all around the world. This year, 198 of the students are citizens of countries other than the United States.

The high-achieving group includes 544 women, representing 32 percent of the class; and 281 underrepresented minority students, representing 16 percent of the class. The continued geographic and international diversity of the incoming class reinforces the global reach and global impact of Rensselaer.

The overall class SAT average was 1367 based on the 1600 scale and 195 incoming students received a perfect 800 SAT critical reading, math, or writing score. Four students scored a 1600 on the critical reading and math portions of the exam. In the incoming class, 99 students were valedictorians or salutatorians of their high school graduating class, while 68 percent ranked in the top 10 percent of their class.

“We are proud of the fact that the Class of 2020 is not only the largest incoming freshmen class in the history of Rensselaer, but also one of the strongest academically,” said Jonathan D.Wexler, vice president for enrollment management. “This is the most academically, ethnically, and geographically diverse incoming class in the history of Rensselaer!”

A record total of 18,524 high school students filed applications to attend Rensselaer this fall, according to the Office of Admissions. This year’s total represents an increase of approximately four percent from the previous year.

At Rensselaer, President Shirley Ann Jackson is guiding a transformation that fulfills the vision of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer. The foundation for this vision is the recognition that global challenges and opportunities are so great they cannot be adequately addressed by even the most talented person working alone. Rensselaer serves as a crossroads for collaboration—working with partners across disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions—to address complex global challenges, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer. Research at Rensselaer addresses some of the world’s most pressing technological challenges—from energy security and sustainable development to biotechnology and human health. The New Polytechnic is transformative in the global impact of research, in its innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of students at Rensselaer.

Note: Join the social media discussion. Follow the Class of 2020 on Twitter using the hashtag #RPI2020

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute is has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science “to the common purposes of life.” For more information, please visit


Written By Jessica Otitigbe
Press Contact Jessica Otitigbe
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