After a record number of applications were submitted to the Institute this past year, the RPI Class of 2011 has shaped up to be a very diverse group of students.
RPI is welcoming approximately 1,300 students this year, who were chosen from among the more than 10,100 students who filed applications. This record number is a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous year and is a growth of around 82 percent from only two years ago, according to Vice President for Enrollment Jim Nondorf.
The incoming class has surpassed last year’s average SAT score by 17 points, coming in at an average score of 1337. The 25th percentile to 75th percentile of last year’s class ranged from 1220-1420, while the Class of 2011’s middle percentile scores ranged from 1250-1430. Over 65 percent were also in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.
One of the most notable areas to see growth was Information Technology, which experienced a 109 percent increase in students. “This year, we have larger classes in the typically smaller schools,” said Nondorf. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences has seen an increase of 32 percent, and the number of students seeking a degree in science and biotechnology has grown 50 percent since 2005. The School of Science has grown from 286 students accepted last year to 340 students from the Class of 2011. The Lally School of Management and Technology enrollment has also increased 16 percent from last year. The Institute has decided to decrease enrollment slightly in the School of Architecture as well as the School of Engineering—mechanical engineering in particular—this year, due to the large size of last year’s classes, according to Nondorf.
The Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences major was a new addition to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences late last spring, and RPI is one of only a handful of schools to offer such a degree. “There has been a ton of interest in the new games major,” said Nondorf. “It wasn’t a major during the application process, so we’re seeing that many students have been transferring into the School of Humanities and Social Sciences for it.”
This class has also come in over the 30 percent mark for women and will include more than 400 women, a 12 percent increase from last year. Approximately 76 percent of the women are from outside the Northeast, according to Nondorf, and the average SAT score of the Class of 2011 women is 27 points higher than last year. Out of these women, 73 percent were also in the top ten percent of their graduating class. There was a growth of 174 percent of women who are entering into the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, while the School of Engineering saw an 84 percent increase.
The Class of 2011 also promises to bring many diverse backgrounds to the Institute. This class has seen a big jump in students from outside the Northeast, with about 24 percent of students coming from elsewhere in the country. There has also been a growth in international students this year of about 50 percent since last year, including students from the Bahamas, China, Denmark, Ecuador, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.
These incoming freshmen were also very involved in the arts, community service, student leadership, and athletics during high school, according to Nondorf. “We’ve seen a lot of musicians in this particular class,” he said. “This group of students should add a lot to the clubs on campus. It’ll be easier for clubs to flourish and will make the campus a more vibrant environment.”