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RIT - Information Technology program

simmigsimmig Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
My son was accepted at RIT for the fall of 2013. He wants to study Information technology. He also applied to Drexel and University of MD, Baltimore county (We live in MD). He was accepted at all 3 schools.

RIT and Drexel both have accredited IT programs. UMBC does not offer an IT program, they offer Information systems and IT certificate programs.

He is a fairly quiet/shy kid. Not a very social person at first, but once he makes a few friends, he is fine. He is highly talented in computers, photography and robotics.

I have a few questions:

** Can anyone give me information on the IT program at RIT? I've been reading that the while admission to RIT is very difficult, the classes can be quite hard. My son scored 1160/1600 and 1840/2400 on the SAT. He is a B- student with respect to GPA. Is there a lot of support from the school with respect to tutors, etc for struggling students?

** What is the housing situation like? I read a few posts that mentioned that Freshmen are able to live on campus in dorms but most students live off campus or in "hotel" type dorms off campus that require bus transportation. Is this still the case? Are there adequate dorms for your entire 4-5 years?

** How bad are the winters? We live near DC and we barely get a dusting of snow. Is it difficult to get around campus in the snow? Does the school ever cancel classes?

** How is the social scene at the school? Since my son is shy, my fear is that he will sit in his dorm room all the time. He is not into sports, however he enjoys photography, video games, robotics, etc.

** For those of you that attend RIT or have kids there: Why did you choose RIT? What is the best thing you like about the school and what is the worse?

We are also considering the other schools (UMBC and Drexel) as they are closer to our home. RIT is about a 7 hour drive from our home.

Thanks in advance for you response.
Post edited by simmig on

Replies to: RIT - Information Technology program

  • dadinatordadinator Registered User Posts: 1,439 Senior Member
    I can't answer your questions, but one thing I wanted to point out was that your S's 1840 on the SAT places him at the 75th percentile of accepted students for his major at RIT:

    See page 50 -

    Information Sciences and Technologies 1550-1850

  • GlutenmomGlutenmom Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    To tell you the truth, I have no idea exactly what the appeal of RIT is to my daughter. I did see that when we went there on a visit she initially had a kind of 'ho-hum' attitude. But then she found some art students and they all instantly connected and she has been 'in love' with that school ever since. They were kindred spirits that love Disney movies and manga/anime and 'Homestuck' and who knows what else. They are the 'geeks' of the art world. Ever since that moment, RIT has been her number one choice because she totally feels at home with the types of kids that go there. She is a serious, hard-working girl, but she is very enthusiastic about the things she loves - and I think that that enthusiasm is what drew these kids together.

    Have your son look into the special interest housing. He will be able to forge solid social connections there.
  • rachelfranrachelfran Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    Most kids end up in on campus housing. There are a few floors of the RIT inn for overload but I think all freshmen end up in the dorms. My daughter is a sophomore and still in the dorms .. She applied for off campus next year and is currently wait listed for that...

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  • rachelfranrachelfran Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    Oh and yes - it's very cold but my kid isn't much of an outdoors type anyway and walking to school in the cold and snow doesn't seem to bother her much ... She has befriended the Cosplay Troupe on campus and is bff's with her roommates - both this and last year -- who were both in the same Game Design major.

    She chose the school for the game design major.. The amazing equipment, the compelling head of department and the coop program.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  • nomolasnomolas Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    My daughter is in her 4th year in Software Engineering, I think the IT program is different... but as for your other questions -
    I think all freshman who are not commuters have to live in dorms. They are fine, pretty typical freshman dorms. I don't think most students live technically "off campus" but many non-freshman live in RIT non-dorm housing - garden apartments and townhouses which are adjacent to the campus but belong to the school. My daughter lived in a pretty crummy (but cheap) RIT owned apartment her second and third year. She was close enough to walk but there is also a bus. She now lives in a complex near the book store, which is privately owned and much nicer, and still adjacent to the campus (bus services and can walk when it's nice out). I have the impression that if a students wants to stay on campus there's not much problem doing that.

    About the snow- they know how to handle snow up there - the paths and roads are cleared right away and they almost never cancel classes because of weather. It does snow, but major accumulations are infrequent - it's just that there's some precipitation more days than not. My daughter is not particularly bothered by the weather.

    My daughter is shy and was not popular in high school, but at RIT she found a lot of kids like her and has lots of friends and is very happy. There are LOTS of kids like your son and he'll fit right in.

    The best thing about the school from my perspective as a parent is the co-op program - my daughter is on her third co-op, just got her 4th and last for this summer, so she has fantastic experience. Lots of tech companies recruit on campus and she has lots of contacts now because of older students she knows who have graduated and have jobs.
  • whattodonextnowwhattodonextnow Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    My son got 2210/2400 for SAT and attended a top notch university for Computer Engineering. The school work was challenging and he did not apply himself so he failed his freshman year miserably. He is now at a community college and applied for transfer and changed his major to computer science/game design. We are trying to decide between Drexel and RIT and would like to hear your opinion of the two schools.

    We live in California so the weather is a concern. But the main concern is all the comments that we have read online about how intense the school work is at RIT.
  • rachelfranrachelfran Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    There is another thread here from parents comparing Drexel and RIT -- I think they all chose RIT partially because the coop program at Drexel still requires the student to pay tuition and RIT does not ...

    My daughter is in the Game Design major and she's having a tough time... She's not failing out but it's been a real challenge and she spends a lot of time working on programs... She is not a science kid and has dropped physics three times .. It's required but she can't seem to get through it. She's more of a creative, arts & writing person ... That said, she can't see herself anywhere else.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  • whattodonextnowwhattodonextnow Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Hi Rachelfran, thank you for the info. I will follow the thread for RIT vs Drexel.

    When my son was looking at game design he had to be very careful because there are two different types of programs, one is more about programming and the other is more about art and design. He almost applied to an art and design program. He is definitely not an art kind of person. I noticed that there is an required art type of class for RIT. What's the class like? How much of art skills does it require?
  • simmigsimmig Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thanks for the replies. In the end, my son decided to attend University of MD, Baltimore County (UMBC) which is 45 minutes from our home and major in Information systems or computer science. He will live on campus in the dorms. He was torn because RIT has an excellent IT program, but I don't think he was mentally ready to move to upstate NY and be 7 hours away from his family.

    UMBC being an in state school is half the cost of RIT. He did not receive any financial aid or scholarship $$, so we would have to pay the full tuition each year. (ouch!!!)
  • helpdecidinghelpdeciding Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Simmig ---
    My son we are now in major decision mode like you were last year. Such a tough spot. Same three schools Drexel, UMBC and RIT. My son sounds just like yours. The biggest thing I got out of RIT was CONTACTs for good jobs. He is so focused on the end result and could care less about rah-rah school spirit. Every time we turned around especially in Computer Science House at RIT we were informed on some kid co-oped at Intel, another at Google, - crazy good. Just wondering if it is worth it for the money and distance for us over just trying to get summer internships in the DC area which is packed with good jobs and companies locally. We are 45 min from UMBC too. Plusses of RIT good internships/job possibilities, school has many kids that were like my son - they seemed very welcoming and accepting which he liked, he might even shine since he is a smart good looking kid just shy and awkward, seemed like everyone was very passionate about learning at least with the computer science people we talked to which he would thrive in. Minuses, he has never been away from home and he is kind of young acting for his age, the constant cold and dreary weather I think would be depressing, and hearing how tough the program is even though its easier to get into than some other schools. Hoping you will get this does your son like UMBC?? Any information you could share about UMBC would be great!!
  • crowladycrowlady Registered User Posts: 1,098 Senior Member
    @helpdeciding if you put the @ in front then @simmig will get a notification that you have mentioned him/her. I think that UMBC is a fine school -- I knew several of the CS professors and used to be adjunct in the department. My son just chose RIT over UMBC (and others) but UMBC would have been a great place to be. RIT has the advantage of the co-op program and is twice the size. I suspect that the social scene at UMBC is not so different from RIT. When I was there kids walked around talking about computers they had built, rather than sports or parties. However, my son felt it would be better at RIT for him. His best friend is going to UMBC.
  • simmigsimmig Registered User Posts: 4 New Member

    So sorry! I am just now seeing this notification. It has been a while since I have logged into College Confidential.
    My son's first year at UMBC was tough. He had a hard time making friends on campus (he is an introvert) and the work load was very hard. He had a horrible roommate situation the first semester and didn't try hard enough (even with our constant pestering) to get a new roommate, so he wound up commuting 45 minutes each way to school. This is his first semester of his sophomore year and he is commuting again.

    While I think UMBC is a great school academically, it is a really hard school to make friends because they are so many commuters and the physical location of the college. There is really not much to do in the area around the school, so many kids wind up coming home on weekends. Also, clubs usually only meet once a week for an hour.

    My son was only 17 when he started college (he turned 18 in November), In hind-site, I think he should have taken a gap year. I really don't think he was mature enough emotionally to go to college. I think it was a good idea for him to go to UMBC so that he was close to home and could get the support he needed from us. I hate to think how his grades would have been if he as 7 hours away from us! His sophomore year is getting better, he is trying harder to make friends and also using the math lab and tutoring services available. I'm praying for a good year!
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