RPI Class of 2024 Thread

There have been a lotof comments by myself and others in the various threads. The purpose of this thread is to enable open discussion regarding decisions to apply to or enroll at RPI as a member of the class of 2024.

The most recent editorial in the school newspaper (the Poly) “What we think prospective students should know” is a good starting point.


Some alumni are very concerned about RPI. The following articles from the Albany Times Union may be of interest.



There are now 2 groups saying they are in charge of the alumni association and litigation may (I think probably) be pending. There are also many documents all prospective students (and their families) should be aware of at


Full disclosure I am a member of Renew Rensselaer. I do think that the Times Union articles present both sides of the argument and many of the documents on the Renew Rensselaer site are objective (financials, common data set, etc). I suggested the link so prospective students (and their parents) could jump to the meat/facts.

To all prospective members of the Class of 2024 ask about CLASS (mandatory on-campus housing sophomore year). Ask about ARCH (mandatory on-campus -including housing term during the Summer between So and Jr years, one semester off-campus mandatory during Jr year).

RPI Housing Requirements
All students for freshman year
All students for sophomore year except for those in fraternities/sororities
All students for summer between sophomore and junior year.
If a student joins a fraternity or sorority 3/5 of their first 5 terms will be in campus housing, otherwise it is 5/5.
Note housing requires a meal plan.

The student newspaper just published the following article regarding ARCH.


Hey guys, what do you guys think my chances are of getting in RPI?
GPA: UW 3.39 W 4.457 (I take IB)
SAT: 1380
ECS: FIRST Robotics, Swimming, Newspaper Club, Attends a tuition free music school, and Karate.
My grades were horrible freshmen year, hence the low unweighted gpa, but its gotten better. I applied to the Aerospace program (A Stretch). What are your thoughts?

@PLZLETMEINGOD Maybe close. What is your SAT breakdown ? Any APs ? On Robotics were you a leader or team member ?

Math: 750 English: 630
I have a 3 on the AP Bio test but not sure to report it cause it sucks. I got a 6 for my IB SL Psych Final Grade. I was sadly just a team member for Robotics.

@PLZLETMEINGOD 750 a plus for sure. 630 a little light. Combined average seems to track above 1400. RPI as I recall only gives credit for 4s and 5s. Physics and Calc APs would help your app. I’m not sure how to factor in IB. Others can weigh in, but I think you have a good shot. Merit $ maybe lower. What other schools are you looking at ? Stevens; WPI; RIT ? All have a lot to offer.


class of 2024, RPI updated their Advanced Placement policy to only accept 5’s. this is insane as we’d ask this specific question during my son’s various college tour last Spring break. the answer was always, simply a 4 or 5 will get you credit. ie . Northeastern will give my son 10 credits for his AP Chem score of 4. He’s in class of 2024 under ED, and is now upset. He’s gotten a 4 on Chem, History, and has 3 more AP exams this year. I, simply do not understand why the sudden change in policy in late 2019; whereas similarly quality school (ie. Northeastern, Cornell) will take a score of 4. feels more like a money grab scenario. To my son, it’s more on the type of messaging the school is saying. I feel awful, he studied and achieved a 4. He’s having reservations on RPI now…

update Advanced Placement, as of late 2019.

the only other schools I’m aware of is Harvard & MIT. have anyone of you experience this, where AP scores of 4 will not be accepted, and if there’s any recourse?

@PLZLETMEINGOD your stats seem very close to my son’s. I’d say it may come down to your essay. expressing why it’s a good fit, and what kind of impact you’ll make for the RPI community.

@blueberry415 , the AP restrictions (5 course limit and 5 for credit) is another money grab. They do not want a student to come in with a year’s credit. This may have something to do with ARCH or CLASS both of which are money grabs. RPI should not mimic Harvard and MIT for arrogance (only an A in AP earns credit).

I agree. I’m beginning to wonder if the Administration realizes this could have an opposite effect; kids at this level of caliber will gravitate toward Cornell, Northeastern and WPI. RPI will become an unintended poster-child to their competitors.

would someone provide a tips / guidance on the Student Orientation session for accepted students? which portion of day1 / day2 is recommended, or skipped? And the ease of registering into your 1st year classes? TIA

I’m in agreement that the AP change is overkill (not the ‘money grab’ ARCH conspiracy part). 4s and 5s on APs are hard to achieve. As I recall the % of all who take a given AP test and score 4-5 is sort of low. We were taken back at first when we read that 3s were not accepted at RPI. As it later turned out we had all 5s, and this new standard would have been moot. Some schools don’t take any (Manhattan College) wanting students to learn all from the ground up. Others accept 3s and above pretty generously (SUNY Binghamton). For some this sadly will be a tie breaker.

I see the unintended consequence as it making it harder to do a dual major in 4 yrs, or being able to complete a masters in 5 years. Both options I would hope RPI would support with a better AP policy. Not to mention maybe taking a slightly lighter load during the transition to college life, or creating some room in the schedule if you need to W out of a class.

What I will say, based on my student’s experience and observations, is AP’ing out of Calc 1 and Physics 1 sounds good at 1st, but realistically, those APs are not at the college level / RPI pace, meaning the follow on classes, particularly Calc 2 (which is a challenge at any college), is a bit of a culture shock. Some students will get off to a better start taking Calc 1 and Physics 1 at RPI and likely do better later with the AP experience.

I would suggest that any student taking calculus AB not receive credit for Calc I regardless of the score. It is one semester over two and does not prepare students for the pace of college courses. But this is only one of many.

Like anything, this depends on the kid. My son took AB Calc and got a 5 on the AP exam. He took Calc II at RPI and got an A with ease.

My son is in AP Calc AB and it’s the entire year, not one semester.

AP Calc AB is a one-semester college level course taught over an entire year in high school. At most students taking this course will get one semester of college credit.