I have been looking for some extra engineering schools to apply to. In a thread I made asking for some suggestions, someone suggest that I look at Rose-Hulman. I have, and am really interested by what it has to offer.
Unfortunately, my stats aren't very good for the engineering schools I have looked at; 650 on the SAT math, C+ in my first year of AP physics last year (although I have managed to bring that up to an 80 this year!).
So my question is just how hard is it to get into RHIT? I really want to apply, but am afraid of wasting more money on college application fees, so any advice is much appreciated.
patriots87 - consider applying. While your scores may be a little low for some engineering schools, RHIT has a history of high acceptance while being a highly ranked Engineering School (you've probably seen U.S. News reports). Typically, you will hear from them within 4 weeks, as they are rolling admission - very, very friendly place too, especially for an Engineering school!
Be sure to visit Rose Hulman campus before making any admission decision. Two visits and we still were underwhelmed. The "best undergrad engineering" ranking is based upon a rather small pool of undergrad-only colleges that offer engineering, and many private and public universities offer far stronger programs. RH has done a great job promoting itself, but its engineering-science facilities were very disappointing, and the rah-rah attitude of admissions staff was off-putting. RH was a top contender until our first visit, and struck from list after 2nd visit.
I agree with Higgins2013 that rankings tend to make people think more highly of RHIT than it legitimately deserves. Even so, it is a fine engineering school and you should not be put off from applying because of one C on your record or a moderate SAT math score. My S was admitted a couple years ago with 5 Cs, most of which were in math. He had an otherwise strong application. Note that RHIT has rolling admissions so you will likely know the decision much sooner than at most schools.
its engineering-science facilities were very disappointing
S did a summer camp there and loved it, but I have never visited. Were the "disappointing facilities" you saw more research-related, or teaching-related? RHIT is focused on undergrad teaching, not unlike a top LAC in this regard. Do you think its facilities are well suited for this particular mission? I'm thinking classrooms, teaching labs, project spaces, general campus facilities, etc., especially on a per capita basis.
I was only concerned about the location and the internship opportunities up to now.
JJ: We visited a large number of Midwest LAC campuses during past two years, focussing on sciences. RHIT had the most disappointing science/engineering facilities of more than two dozen schools, even as its tuition was comparable or higher yet in comparison. Building facilities were below par. Open House's tour excluded walk-throughs of lab facilities, allowing us only to peak into classroom entry door windows, while other schools often featured extensive tours of facilities and equipment rooms. Reminded me of public HS-caliber.
Our two RHIT visits were so off-putting, that I consciously decided to post on this thread because I think the school is over-rated due to its narrow category of "undergrad eng only". At that tuition cost, a parent and student are allowed to be picky.
There's another site worth reading, where students post college reviews (not *******). RHIT receives a more authentic review there. DS didn't apply here, though prior to visits school was high in his list.
higgins2013: I think part of the problem may be the way tours are handled and the relative isolation of the advanced lab facilities. I only know about my specific field (EE), but I do know that we have some advanced lab facilities that are impressive to those in the field, but they aren't located among the classrooms and aren't known to many students outside of those directly involved with the facilities.
For example, we have an electromagnetics laboratory with an anechoic chamber that I didn't know about until I was involved with some research in that area. We have an alumni who is doing his PhD at Georgia Tech come back to show us some of his current research, and he mentioned that even *they* didn't have that special chamber - his research group had to rent one at a rate of a few thousand dollars a day. He was envious of our facilities, and he is a doctoral student at GT! I know of several projects conducted in those facilities with university partnerships and industry sponsors.
I know that's anecdotal and my experience only pertains to one very specific field, but it goes to show that even if we do have advanced facilities, they aren't well publicized. I suspect the tours may try to focus more on the day-to-day parts of a student's life - residence halls, classrooms, etc. Fact is, most students at Rose focus on the classroom and don't do much research, so many of the students only encounter the special facilities in advanced classes senior year, if at all.
I didn't look at other LACs in my college search, so I don't have any basis for comparision....but I haven't been disappointed with Rose' facilities at all. In fact, in the work that I've done as a EE major the facilities have been very good.
We are from San Jose, CA. My S got accepted in RHIT for Fall of 2013 as a frosh. We visited the school early Fall last year. We met with the admission counselor, had a tour of the campus and class rooms, dorms, computer labs by two students. Then we met with one of the profs from CS dept. and finally had a concluding session with counselor again. We were very well treated and the students spent almost 2 hrs. giving us the tour. While talking to the students during the tour, one of students who was a senior(Electrical) told us she already had a job offer from Alcoa where she did her internship for two summers, but she is waiting for other offers to come. We requested for a meeting with CS dept prof and admission office arranged that also. During our meeting with the prof, we were interrupted by other students who had some urgent questions to ask and she gladly helped them in front of us. The prof told us as long as teachers are in their office, they always help the students with their questions; she told us they sometime take call at home also to help the students with their questions. We asked about the job placement for recent graduates. We were told out of 23 students who graduated, 15 got jobs already, 6 went to grad schools, 1 went to military duty, and 1 decided not to pursue any job. We also saw a large banner saying, "Welcome Microsoft....". We were told lots of their CS graduate got job offers from MS recently. My son is a geek person, he is mostly in study, Robotics, volunteer works. Not a party person at all. He loved the campus, environment. I also liked it, as I thought there are no big campus or big city distraction for the students. We were very happy with Admission office folks. If my son can get good scholarship from them, he may decide to go there. From there we went WU at St. Louis. They only gave a 30 mins slide presentation and an hour of engineering department tour. We only requested for engineering dept tour, not the campus tour. Compare to RHIT, the treatment at WU was mediocre. Just my 2-cents. My son is a top student in his school, 99% percentile ACT score, NMSF(waiting to hear about NMF, God williing), lots of club activities, paid internship at NASA last summer, sports. But he likes to go to small but good private school. He goes to a private Catholic high school and likes small school environment.
sanjosedad my S was accepted at RHIT also. I felt welcomed at RHIT but we will perform a second visit in March. Our sons sound a lot alike. He, however, is still reviewing his options. Please keep me posted.
When my son will make the final decision in April, and if RHIT becomes his final choice, we will also make a second visit for sure. Now that my S is admitted, next most important concern is amount of scholarship from RHIT. Obviously if the scholarship amount isn't good enough and the total cost is high, we have to ditch the idea for him to attend there. We will have to look for other choices then. Will keep you posted.
Great thread here. Of course, I'm disheartened to see that higgins2013 was disappointed in the tour. I think some of the problem is the type of visit that was chosen. RHIT offers two visit options: large open house program or individualized visit. For anyone already admitted thinking about visiting our campus later this spring, please only consider the individualized visit.
As sanjosedad explained, on an individualized visit, you determine everything that happens. You want to see the Production Testing Laboratory sponsored by Eagle Test Systems and Texas Instruments? Great, I'll have a paid student ambassador get you over there. Sit in on a class? Meet one-on-one with a professor? Get time with a coach? Tour the theatre? Happy to make it all happen...BUT only on an individualized visit.
A campus open house is NOT an individualized experience. Your tour guide is a randomly selected, unpaid volunteer who loves her/his school. They will show everything they can, but they won't have as much training as one of our paid ambassadors. With that understanding, it becomes obvious why I encourage admitted students to choose the individualized visit option.
So if you are an admitted student, and the admissions counselor asks you at the beginning of your individualized visit, "What do you want to see?", please let the counselor know. We will make it happen because our job is very simple:
1. Make sure the proper students are admitted (admit rate of ~54% this year)
2. Make sure admitted students know EXACTLY what they will get if they attend Rose-Hulman
Notice, there isn't an expectation that we convince anyone Rose-Hulman is the only and best place. The students and their families are invested enough in this process that all they need is information. They don't need or want to be sold. However, I, and the rest of my colleagues in the office, genuinely believe in what Rose-Hulman is about. If that translates to "rah-rah", then I must plead guilty. But if a student comes to campus, sees everything important to her/his decision, and decides to attend elsewhere...well...I did my job.
RHIT Admissions -- By way of feedback to you and your staff, it appears that not everyone in your admissions office is on the same page. After reading your post, I am very disappointed about the advice that I was given on the telephone just a couple of weeks ago. My daughter has been accepted to Rose-Hulman for the Fall of 2013. I called the admissions office to ask for advice on whether to attend a Campus Day Program or arrange for an individual visit. I was led to believe that the Campus Day Program would be better, but that an individual visit would be okay if she couldn't come on one of the scheduled days. The advantage of the Campus Day Program, I was told, is that faculty from the various academic departments would be available to answer questions. No mentione was made of volunteer tour guides who are less trained vs. paid ambassadors, nor of opportunities to meet with specific faculty, coaches, etc. on an individual visit. So she is there today with my husband for the Senior Program. The advice I got was in direct contrast to what you say in your post, that you recommend only an individual visit for admitted students. It is not easy for us to make the trip, so I don't know that we will have another opportunity to do so.
I just wanted to chime in here to say that my son, who is currently a junior at RHIT, is having a great experience in the program. He's a good student and was also admitted to U of Mich with nearly a full ride, to Michigan Tech and RIT with a couple of great scholarships, and to Kalamazoo College (also a full ride, but they have only a 3:2 engineering program), as well as to few other Michigan schools. While the FA we received from Rose was not great, we had wonderful experiences visiting the school and were convinced that the small size, dedicated faculty, and full commitment to engineering would be plusses for my son.
He has since become very involved (in a good way!) in fraternity life at the school, as many students do, and although the coursework is VERY challenging he's managed to maintain nearly a 4.0 GPA. He's more social and involved than he's ever been and he's had two wonderful internship experiences to fill his summers. He'll be working for Garmin this summer. The employment rate for seniors is incredible, especially in this economy - they really have great relationships with a number of employers. My son is in Software Engineering and Computer Engineering, so I don't know much about the ME program, but I really haven't heard anything but positive feedback from him about his whole experience. It's been a perfect fit for him.
I would suggest that you pay a visit if the smaller school environment appeals to your son. Let the admissions office know what you'd like to see and I'm sure they will bend over backward to help you.
And as for your original question about qualifications, I think it would be worth a try for him to apply. As others have said, they have a rolling acceptance system so the earlier you apply, the better. They do have a pretty high acceptance rate, but I think the applicants pre-filter themselves to some extent. Rose has a strong reputation as a challenging program, especially in the midwest. But it's also very specific to engineering, and it's a small school that is still a bit out of balance as far as gender goes. All of those probably tend to limit the applicant pool.