RPI Summer ARCH program - Run away

RUN AWAY FROM RPI!! My daughter is now about to start the ARCH program and it is nothing short of ridiculous!! I was told when entered as a Freshman I could get her off campus and help with the insane housing costs that RPI charges. I knew about the ARCH but was told she did not have to live on campus. No staff had any clear information when she came in as a Freshman other than it would be the first group of students into the program. The internal staff has no idea what is happening- still!! , I have to move her 3 times for this so called “program” that is clear that it is because RPI needs revenue! Move her out of the current 2 weeks later move her into a dorm, then move her out of the dorm wait another 2 weeks and into Fall housing (if there is enough) that will need to also be on campus because who rents for 3 months?? Landlords want a full year lease! I am certain that RPI knew that this would be the case!! If I was a student looking at schools I would RUN AWAY from RPI! Also, Ms. Jackson has the system figured out…when the students get to this point of their education they cannot transfer into a different equivalent school because often they will have too many credits completed. So, my daughter is literally STUCK there! Also, they are charging more for the summer housing than I have paid for single room housing and they are being treated as freshmen! They have zero housing options and being told that not all dining halls will be open for the summer. However, we are paying top dollar and charged stupid “Arch activity fees”! Also Troy is not a nice area so off campus housing is hard to find where they are safe.

Also - to add they are not helping the students much finding opportunities, and they have to chose their off semester with zero knowledge of where they may work. Note - not many companies hire for fall term, and a 2.5 month co-op because of the holidays. No-one at RPI will share that info with the students though! Once they make the choice they are locked in - again a complete scam!! I would ask Ms. Jackson to help justify the cost with her absurd yearly earnings as the highest paid president of all colleges in the US! I do not feel that this school provides what it claims and charges for.

That was just the financial side… this school is ranked in the top 50 most effort and work put toward their studies… now do that with zero break! My daughter will be in school at RPI for 4 straight semesters with only a couple weeks off before “hopefully” finding a co-op January 2020. Currently she is holding a 3.9 GPA, not sure how long that can last. Perhaps RPI thinks some stupid Arch activity will keep her motivated? (joke)

Also - don’t try to call and discuss this with anyone at RPI, they do not return your calls nor emails. It is mandatory, that simple. Pull your kid out or pay the bill!

I am so sorry your family is going through this. Thank you for posting. WPI and RPI are my son’s top choices although WPI has the edge. My husband is an RPI alumni so my son is giving it consideration. I am really saddened to hear of such greed from a school run by what seems to be a dictator. I am doing my best to push my son away from this school, but ultimately it’s his choice. We will be attending the Accepted Student Day. It will be interesting to hear what is said about it. I will be asking questions, but of course, I wonder if they will answer.

Just curious, what are they charging for housing? Wonder how it compares with housing at different colleges for students in summer housing.

@intparent I saw a post on reddit on the summer housing cost. I suspect the problem is not because it may or may not be more expensive than other colleges for summer housing. The problem is that it is mandatory for a junior and in the summer. In some cases, as in the case of @RPIparent77 's kid, he has to move out, move back in , move out and move back in again. RPI does not seem to care. I have heard parents plan to just pay for the summer housing but live off campus.

The specific gripe above is the cost. I’d like to know the numbers to see if the gripe is “real” or sour grapes.

@intparent which school has mandatory summer housing for junior?

Few, but plenty have summer programs where kids live in dorms on campus. It just doesn’t seem that crazy to me. And regarding internships — schools do expect kids to put in the elbow grease in their search for coop or internship semesters. A different school likely wouldn’t hand it to the kid on a silver platter. I’ve seen hundreds of posts about this school, snd this one stands at it as having a much more negative tone than most. Again — what is that “insane” dorm fee?

Yes - you said it correct. My rant is about cost and the way its being pushed. These kids have zero housing option. They are being put into freshman dorms with a hallway bathroom and needing a significant meal plan with very little dining options. I am part of an engineering family I understand the co-op need and doing the work to get the position. I dont feel it should be provided to them literally. However, learning that these kids are really on their own compared to other schools support and connections. If they are going to mandate something and make a change this big they should provide options and fair choices so all feel part of the plan. Blessed my child is rooming with a great friend, however Fall semester Is still an unknown. Typically the student stays in the same place for the year - this should be no different. Instead paying an additional cost to move many times. I have been told they are allowing them to leave their items in the current housing, leave for 2 weeks then move it to summer housing. However…this seems to be mass confusion and uncertainty also. I just dont feel this is ready to implement, I hope they prove me wrong. Registering for classes seemed positive compared to other semesters so thats a plus. After all that is why they are there.

I am not wealthy and going into this these were not costs I budgeted for. In fact I quote financial aid “once you get to Jr year it will get much easier you can get the housing costs down significantly” I suppose if money is of no concern this is not the thread for you. This is a very expensive school and out of reach for some. I do my best to provide the opportunity my child has earned, however feel very mislead.

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@intparent therefore as I understand you are not aware of any school that ** requires junior ** to live on ** campus ** during ** summer **. I am not sure how it can be an apple to apple comparison as far as cost is concerned. In addition, it is not like the OP can send the kid to the other school. IMO, a more relevant comparison may be on campus vs off campus housing.

I don’t think parents expect the school hands their kids an internship in a silver platter, but in the case, the kids are required to take a full course load during the summer and in some cases, taking full course load in 4 semesters (fall, spring, summer and fall) because of the requirement of an away semester. As I read, kids reported that during the career fairs, many companies did not know the kids were looking for fall/spring internship. My kid is a freshman, I hope that it is going to be a success.

Blocking students from obtaining a summer internship opportunity is hindering their career advancement not helping it. Mandating expensive on campus housing to those that can’t afford it… What an ill conceived program! Who would want to deal with that if they have a choice? I predict RPI will have a lower yield this year.

Is there enough dissatisfaction among parents and students that they can band together and simply refuse to pay for on campus housing this summer? I say this because you all are consumers and are paying that school cumulative millions to be there, although I get that your students are already half way through their program and may seem stuck with no choice. It seems that parents should be putting some financial pressure on the school to rethink this process. I know my son was accepted for next year and I am having serious reservations about him attending.

^^If the problem is not resolved, the students would be considered withdrawn from RPI.

I posted this on the RIT vs RPI thread, but applies here too:

annamom Please rollback on my comments across many of the RPI threads, as I hit on many. I looked at yours and think you have some posts dead on. I love the ‘silver platter’ comment. My son will soon be raising sophomore and maybe when he is closer to ARCH I will have a different view. If I do, I will certainly fess up. Many of the negative comments could equally apply to other similar programs, like at NorthEastern … housing, timing, availability, guidance, etc. I know via a close friend currently attending it is no silver platter (but certainly light years ahead of RPI). In part the difference is years of execution and it being the norm. I have not seen the published data. I don’t doubt that some/many may not be thrilled with ARCH, but the ‘uproar on campus’ is not accurate, at least those my son is in contact with. When we were deciding the idea of giving up a summer family vacation was certainly an issue. Realistically those opportunities diminish as they get older. Yes, the cost for the summer comes sooner than planned, but it is not in addition to what we expected. Beyond the specific issues, it sort of blows my mind that the students at RPI are a pretty smart group, mostly studying engineer and the sciences. The core skill set is problem solving. Where am I going to live, and how do I find a coop/internship/job seem easier than the homeworks in CS Data Structures. Some choice and flexibility with ARCH would be better, but so would a lot of things in life. Some position ARCH as a grand conspiracy by SJ as a power play and money grab. I don’t see that as the motivation.

How is ARCH different from what Northeastern offers (if someone has any knowledge of Northeastern) ? My son is trying to decide between these 2 schools and at Northeaster to do a co-op you have to also take summer sessions and stay on campus for that. Is it the same concept at RPI so during ARCH you just take classes to compensate for the semester of the co-op?

@Spark2018 is someone who seems incredibly adamant to defend something he knows nothing about, wait until your son/daughter goes through the program before being so outspoken on the issue. I don’t know last time you were applying to entry level jobs, internships or co-ops as an engineering student but it is extremely extremely competitive today and most of them are based on school relationships.

If you search “RPI Summer Arch Reddit”, you will find many students and their actual experiences with the program.

The essential differences between Northeastern and RPI (or any established co-op program) is the Summer Arch semester away is a “semester to explore”, meaning that RPI doesn’t take any responsibility for what you do that semester. It’s their way of wiping their hands clean of having any responsibility of helping you find a co op or any other activity. They don’t proactively reach out to potential employers who may be searching for co-ops and students are simultaneously unaware of what companies hire co-ops because the majority of them are school relationship based.

At Northeastern, RIT or U Cincinnati the career center has established industry connections that knows their students go on co-ops. It greatly improves the chances of their students landing co-ops and almost all of them do.

Arch is not the same concept as co-op at a school like Northeastern. It is not a case of taking classes on campus during the summer so that one can co-op later. Co-oping earlier is likely to become more challenging as well. ARCH is rigid. You must take Jr classes during the Summer between the 2nd and 3rd year. You must be away from campus, or at least not taking classes during one of the two terms during the third year. There is no flexibility.

@Spark2018 #13
I am including my answer here as well

@Spark2018 I really would appreciate if you can let us know what are facts and what are fictions so that we can tell where there are “less facts than fiction”. I do not know whether “uproar on campus” is accurate or an exaggeration from a frustrated parent.

In my opinion, if there were less facts, I believe it is because RPI, for whatever reason withholding the facts.
An example from my interaction with the career center. During the family weekend, I attended a session with CCPD. One parent asked given the higher number of students looking for internships, did RPI bring in more employers (not his exact words)? Instead of directly answering the question, the woman from CCPD responded that she would not worry about whether there was an increase in employers looking for RPI students for internship, but more on whether the students were utilizing all of CCPD’s resources. ( I was guilty in not pushing for the same answer as I was so shocked on her “blaming the students” approach).
After the Spring job fair, I assumed you have heard that students were complaining that many of the companies coming for the job fair were not aware of the Summer Arch, i.e. students would be looking for Fall/Spring internships.
I have my opinion on why CCPD did not directly answer the question.

You brought up Northeastern, I have no direct experience with Northeastern except listened to their presentation during college visit last year. My recollection was that they were very open with what they had accomplished and how they helped. But as you mentioned housing etc. I called Northeastern admission. The person answered the phone told me there was no specific requirement for taking a full course load in the summer. If you knew something more or that the above was incorrect, please share so that we can distinguish between facts and fiction.

BTW, here is some stat from Northeastern.

RPI ran 2 years of Summer Arch pilot program. Where is the data?
I am not suggesting people not to look into RPI but do your due diligence, ask the hard questions (someone posted some suggestions) and ask for facts.
My kid loves the school very much, but then she does not pay with her money and has not thought about getting a job yet.

@StudentsR1st Thank you

@Spark2018 I don’t know you, but I would consider equating Northeastern’s co-op with RPI’s summer arch as fiction.

I am not an angry parent but just trying to understand the rationale and facts behind Summer Arch. I like my kid to live on campus for 4 years if possible (unless there are other reasons), therefore housing is not an issue for us. However, I support those who complained about housing. I cannot think of a good explanation on why a student is required to stay on campus during the summer after sophomore when the kid is already staying in a frat house during his sophomore year. (As of I understand, it is still a requirement as of today) I just speak up and ask more questions when a policy is not making sense.

I am not going to ask people to run away or not to consider RPI, but do the due diligence.

We visited RPI acceptance student day. DS liked it. We had lot’s of conversations about Arch with professors. Thanks to this forum. They are all promising it will get better as they learned a lot from 2 years of pilot. They also said that this year Career center got 7 new employees that will be responsible for going out to different companies and building the relationships and they already have much bigger list of available opportunities, so looks like RPI is trying to improve their co-op/semester away program. They also said that they are aware of the students not being happy with the program and are trying to change to make it better. All can be just a sale pitch, but could be true as well.