Will going to visit RPI help change my DD's mind for the better?

My daughter thankfully got into a bunch of great schools and she is in decision mode now. She received an acceptance to RPI and 50% off total tuition costs. She has never visited. She was initially excited about their school size, AI, engineering, and research. After learning about the mandatory summer schedule and a few other not so good stories, she now has recently dropped it to the bottom of her list.

We are going to visit WPI and it looks to be 2 hours away from each other and not really a time difference heading home for us. It will add an extra day overall to our visit though. No loss of school time, but an extra hotel night. She is unable to go to the one RPI accepted student day, because of a mandatory school commitment. So when we go, it will be a basic tour and the rest of the day to tour on our own or maybe meet up with someone and asked questions.

I am asking if people think it is worth checking out? Has anyone see their child do a 180 just from a visit? Will it change someone’s mind who doesn’t think highly of it? A part of me really wants her give it a chance, but deep down I don’t think it will end up being the college for her.

I did not know accepted students day required a commitment to attend, I thought it was a seal the deal. How excited is your daughter about WPI? WPI has a unique program. I do not have kids. Attempted students day sealed the deal for me (over 20 years ago), but I was already excited about attending. We did have CMU on the radar if accepted students day did not work out. I suggest contacting the director of accepted students day by e-mail at fayetj@rpi.edu (Janelle Fayette) and let her know no accepted students day no deal (if that is indeed the case). If WPI does not work out you might want to try a visit anyway but I am not sure just walking around will help.

Congrats on all the acceptances.

We went during an open house day and DD was very impressed. The facilities at RPI are great and she had some good conversations with professors in her intended major. She ultimately chose another school but RPI was high on her list. Personally I would go since you’ll be fairly near by.

Accepted students day sealed the deal. DD met like minded students. I suspected just a campus visit won’t make a difference for her. Do you know they have some overnights? may be she can look into it.
I agree Summer Arch is a big concern.
Has your daughter joined the facebook group for the colleges she has been accepted to?

@annamom when DD attended Accepted Students Day did she have to accept her admission first?

Will the aesthetics of the campus impact on your daughter’s judgement of it? The RPI campus is not particularly pretty. Seems like it worth a visit if you have not yet done so-if only to be sure she has considered everything. If she attends WPI without seeing RPI and then finds she doesn’t love it in year one, will she regret having not at least visited other options?

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!

By all means visit!

WPI '67

I went to both WPI and RPI. My two daughters loved WPI and my youngest is going there in the fall. You can PM me if you have questions. You should look at them both…for us WPI was a clear winner due to location, project based opportunities, career services, quality of administration, attention to UG students and m/f balance. The students just seem happier and friendlier at WPI.

Definitely visit! The vibe is very different at both schools. My son ended up choosing WPI. He liked the project based learning and collaborative environment there. PM me if you have any questions about WPI.

@StudentsR1st - no she was invited to the accepted students day on Saturday, April 13th, but there is only that one and her high school has a senior luncheon that day - pretty mandatory. Even the Senior crew kids have to miss a regatta.

I didn’t ask about overnights. I should have my daughter look into that on Monday. She is going to one at WPI, but it was offered to her. We received nothing from RPI but the one accepted student day.

I too feel that a simple tour at RPI compared to an overnight and accepted student day at WPI wouldn’t make it equal to begin, and then she is already leaning towards WPI which will probably give RPI a negative vibe.

I think asking for the overnight would be best.

She has already visited Case and Purdue as they have been high on the list. WPI was a late bloomer, but is really growing on her. We are flying out to Arizona next week for ASU Barrett Engineering. It is so crazy, but she wants to be sure of her choice.

@StudentsR1st No. DD did not have to accept the admission first.
@NewSR1 we found the overnight visit from their page.
It seems that WPI is a great school, unfortunately we did not apply In fact, RPI was the engineering school DD applied.

I don’t know if it will swing her, but you should definitely visit. I wasn’t feeling it, but my son was. Wish I could remember the name of our tour guide - she was great!

Just a little note in case you’re not familiar with upstate NY. Troy is not a great looking place, but there is actually a lot going on. My cousin is in her early 20s and she and her boyfriend moved to Troy last summer. They are having a blast.

My daughter is still a junior but has visited both RPI and WPI. She loved RPI and was completely turned off by WPI, so I really think a visit might be helpful as they are very different. However my daughter visited RPI in the summer and we need to do a visit when school is in session so she can get a better feel for the students. For what it’s worth she loved the look of RPI and found downtown Troy charming (the historic area). She thought WPI was not aesthetically pleasing and did not like the Worcester area. I think they are quite different and it wouldn’t hurt to at least look!

@NewSR1 Congratulations to your daughter ! RPI and WPI are both great schools. My son is at RPI and loves it. Great campus and downtown Troy is a cool place. Read my other posts. WPI is also a very nice campus. I believe greek life is more robust at WPI, so if that is important check into it. All my sons top picks had great campuses. Like love, at some point one it just feels right, and maybe even defies logic. If at all possible, visit all, and don’t force it. Accepted students day is a deal at any school. I would also try to just go on a regular day for a tour too.

As far as Arch, while still 1 year away for us, we have become more comfortable with it. Realistically, rising junior should be finding a related job/co-op/internship that summer. With Arch, that job/co-op/internship is fall or spring. I almost think it could be an advantage in the job market being ‘off season’. If you do spring you can roll into the next summer, and well, to me that screams employment after graduation. We also looked at Northeastern where you do 2-3 co-ops which can be plugged in at anytime instead of class. You may think that would be even more disruptive, but it’s not. We have a close friend attending and it worked out great. Some housing disruptions, but that’s it.

On the things you may have read about RPI here or in other places, scratch the surface and you can find something on every school. Honestly some more concerning to me as a parent then a budget and dept. Safety, drinking, intolerance etc. USNEWS is another data point, but certainly not an absolute. IMHO you have to discount comments on posting boards (mine subject to same comment).

Best of luck in your families decision.

A trip to RPI is worthwhile. It most definitely has a different vibe from WPI. I believe students can be be happy at either one. However, I also think many students feel a stronger affinity towards one over the other. My D is a senior at WPI. She was all set to go elsewhere and attended accepted students day at WPI. By the end of the day, she knew WPI was the place for her. So, a visit can sway the decision.

I live not too far from Troy and I am an RPI alum. Troy is doing a lot to develop it’s small ‘downtown’ area with lots of restaurants, etc. I recommend you take a walk through the area.

Worcester is a much bigger city. My husband and I have enjoyed getting to know it and like it much more than we expected. It is an up and coming area, also with a lot of great restaurants, architecture, and a nice art museum.


RPI is definitely worth checking out. My DS saw it for the first time at accepted students day and decided that day to attend. I found the campus to be beautiful and love the variety of architecture. The Quad building is impressive as is EMPAC. DS enjoys the farmer’s market and is finishing up his 2nd year, going in to Arch summer session.

@TQfromtheU Thanks for you posting(s) (I read some of your priors too). This board needs more balance. As you may know from my prior posts my son is completing his freshman year and RPI is turning out to be everything he expected. Great friends, nice dorm, challenging classes with professors and TAs available to help, clubs and downtown Troy for R&R. Cost as expected, high but typical of north east private school. Food on par with other schools. Branded RPI laptop worked out great. You are one year ahead so I look forward to your input on summer '19 ARCH. I have reviewed the class offerings, and for CSE/CS there are 8 core required classes to choose from plus others that would easily fit in. I will best starting a new thread soon which will at least start on the right foot with a positive title. Hopefully it will stay real and balanced and I won’t get trolled again. Go Engineers !

Thank you for all the comments. Just wanted to update. We did not go visit the campus, but did attend an accepted student day off campus. My daughter has decided not to attend.

I am concerned that engineers have to take 4 semesters in a row with no more than 2 week break including winter (why only 2 week winter break?) and summer. From sophomore year, then the summer arch, and Fall of junior year without a break until Junior Spring semester. Then expect to co-opt for 6 months which takes you to July before your senior year. It just seemed too intense. And the mandatory living on campus and meal plan for 5 semesters was too costly.

I am sure it is a great school, but they did not know the answers to many questions we or others asked and since this years sophomore students are the Guinea pigs, she didn’t feel confident to commit not knowing if things would change yet again for better or worse. Too much in limbo.

Good luck to everyone!

Defiantly visit and yes, the two campuses are not that far from one another. Easy, easy drive from one to the other.

You are hitting RPI at the right time. Spring is just blooming and Troy, is not as unfortunate as people say. The Magnolias, Cherry, and dogwood trees are starting to open everywhere while the grass is turning green! If you don’t eat on campus, eat downtown at Browns Brewing Company or look on Trip Advisor for some other great independent restaurants in Troy. There are a lot of neat places. Also, there are several new Hampton Inns in the area - a newer hotel might give you daughter a better “feel.”

I have friends with sons at WPI - they love it. I have friends with students at RPI - they love it. Good luck!

@NewSR1 Best of luck to whatever your daughter decides. I hope I knew to ask more specific questions and push for specific answers last year.
The shorter winter break (did not check whether it was 2 week) as I understand it is to leave room for a “longer” break between end of spring semester and beginning of summer semester.