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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 07/25/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    29 out of 30 people found this review useful. 1 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    academic-oriented, enjoy math/science

    Tips for prospective students

    Research the school and see if it's right for you. Come and take a tour; find out more about what Rensselaer has to offer!

    Bang for the buck

    Great education. Although the costs are pretty high, RPI is very good when it comes to financial aid packages.

    Am enjoying being here

    RPI was ranked #2 on Princeton Review's 'More to do on campus' list for a good reason - there are so many things to do on campus! There is everything from dance and music ensembles to athletics and martial arts. You'll never be bored! Plus, everyone is so friendly; it's a great environment to be in.

    Am learning a lot

    RPI is a wonderful place to learn. The academics are rigorous here, but the hard work pays off. Although it's a technological institute, there are lots of fields you can pursue, including biology, architechture, management, information technology, computer science, astronomy, psychology, electronic arts, or even the arts/humanites.

  • 12/26/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    16 out of 16 people found this review useful. 2 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Focused, well-rounded, driven, professional, approachable students excel at Rensselaer.

    Tips for prospective students

    It is not all-important to have a definitive major. Even if you do not come into Rensselaer with a clear idea of a major, there is a program for undeclared majors that allows exploration, and you can graduate on-time. Build a good work ethic now. Rensselaer's curriculum is rigorous, and it can be easy to fall behind. To prevent that from happening, develop good study habits that you can transfer to a college setting.

    Bang for the buck

    Rensselaer does come with a hefty price tag. However, Rensselaer is a well-recognized name in the business world. Many prestigious businesses attend the biannual career fairs with intentions of bringing in well-developed employees. The cost of Rensselaer will be paid for after a few years in the workforce. You also get bang for your buck while attending Rensselaer. There are many resources on campus that you can take advantage of, including the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, the Biotechnology building, and a supercomputer. You can fine-tune your business skills or just have fun with these tools, making your bill completely worthwhile.

    Am enjoying being here

    Numerous elements lead to a great time at Rensselaer: the students, the clubs, the events, the environment, the surrounding city, and the academics. If you go to Rensselaer, you will be surrounded with people who have interests similar to your own. It is very easy to find friendly, helpful people who are sociable - do not believe the stereotype that everyone is a video-game-playing nerd (although there is a fair share of non-sociable people here)! You can also find plenty of clubs to keep you occupied on campus: our clubs range from sports-related to dance dance revolution to volunteerism to basket weaving! Truly, you can find something you enjoy. If not, start something! Campus also has many fun events. Concerts, comedy acts, carnivals, dances, and sporting events happen any day of the week and are well-advertised. You need to have a really good excuse as to why you are bored on a Friday night! The environment on campus is contagious. Students wear RPI insignia everywhere and have school pride. When you come in as a freshman, a week is devoted to welcoming you to campus! Although Troy has a bad reputation, the area immediately close to campus is completely safe. Shops and restaurants love having Rensselaer students' business and often offer discounts. Past the immediate area, gems can be found, such as Little Italy and farmers' markets. Not to mention, Rensselaer is very close to the riverfront of the Hudson! Even the academics at Rensselaer are enjoyable. The curriculum is flexible: you can take most any class you want because you are allowed a number of free electives. If you find you do not like a course, the drop deadline is reasonably late in the school year, so you will not have to worry about it bringing down your GPA.

    Am learning a lot

    Rensselaer believes in a core education for all majors, as well as a core inside of majors. This means that I took a freshman seminar, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and liberal arts first semester, as well as three engineering courses (I am an engineering major). I gained knowledge from each class, most of which will serve as a foundation for future courses, as well as some that will serve as basic principles in my future career. As Rensselaer contains many unique majors, major-specific information will be much different than the education students were exposed to in high-school.

  • 09/18/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 out of 9 people found this review useful. 3 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    RPI is a great school for people who know where they want to go in life. It provides great structure and guidance for over-achievers (like me) who intend on being very successful in the future.

    Tips for prospective students

    Always be prepared for class. Learn how to manage your time very wisely so as to not fall behind in your coursework and to stay relatively stress free.

    Bang for the buck

    RPI is a relatively expensive school but the quality of education, amount of resources, and experiences here are totally worth it. Also, the name Rensselaer means a lot of future employers. RPI even hosts 2 career fairs every year and has extensive resume building workshops to ensure that you will get a job offer by the time you graduate.

    Am enjoying being here

    RPI is a great school. There are many opportunities to get involved and once you get involved, you'll have a great time. Last year (my freshman year) was the best year of my life!

    Am learning a lot

    I've learned a lot so far and hope to learn so much more. RPI is a very intense school, meaning that you actually have to work hard to be successful. I do think however that I've learned so much more about people being that RPI is so diverse

  • 02/23/2011

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    7 out of 9 people found this review useful. 4 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This is a great place for students who want to go into one of the fields RPI is known for (engineering, architecture, etc.) and for students who are very into video games and who don't mind having only Div. III sports, except for Ice Hockey, which is actually extremely good.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you are 100% sure you want to become an engineer or architect BEFORE you sign the loan statement, because it is definitely worth it if you want to be an engineer, but if you are unsure, go somewhere cheaper to find out.

    Bang for the buck

    I transferred out of RPI because I no longer wanted to become an engineer, and now I have to repay a $20,000 loan and was only able to transfer 9 credit hours out. This is NOT satisfactory, but if I decided to stay at RPI I know that I would have had a job as and engineer right after graduation, so you can rationalize that it is enough bang for your buck, but $20,000 for one semester is not in my eyes, especially when you don't get to use or see the things that your money pays for until you are either a grad student or on a research team.

    Did enjoy being here

    I did not fit in at this school, but this doesn't mean you won't. I am a more socially active person, who loves to be around people like me. There are a lot of social people there as well, but most of the other students in the freshman dorms seemed to stick to their video games.

    Did learn a lot

    I attended every class that I was enrolled in; however, going to class is not enough to really learn from these professors. With the exception of Calculus I, most of my classes had me learn the material on my own, then just reinforce it in class.

  • 05/31/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 out of 7 people found this review useful. 5 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    RPI is great for the student who is ready to learn, is determined and self-motivated. For the student that doesn't settle for average and only strives for excellence. The student, who has his /her eyes on the prize, will not allow anything to veer them from that goal and that doesn’t need a sunny day to keep them out of a glum. The student, who is willing to put in the work to excel in the long-term. The student that is ready to achieve and to thrive. The student that is anxious to make a difference. The student who when faced with a problem confronts it with Why not change the world?

    Tips for prospective students

    What I didn't know the spring of my senior year was that I wasn't just picking a university to spend a decent-sized chunk of my life at. No, I was doing much more than that. I was picking an Alma Mater to make my own, a mascot to represent me, a color scheme to dictate my wardrobe, a group of peers to call friends, and a campus and staff to be my pride and my home. If you're looking to RPI as your prospective university, prepare yourself. The academics get more like an Olympic event with each semester, be prepared to learn and study. The workload seems to never end or even diminish, it actually piles on with every week, be prepared to master time management. The weather can get as severe as over a foot of snow, or a week of rain but it can also be a beautiful sunny day with everyone outdoors playing volleyball, barbecues, and study groups on the lawns, be prepared for all weather(believe me I'm from south Florida, the first winter was harsh). But also be prepared to be social, to put yourself out there a little even if it's a bit out of your comfort zone. There are a lot of great people here but some are just too shy to approach you, get involved with groups that share your interests, meet the people on your floor, go to the activities fair and you won't regret the fun people you'll meet. College is what you make it no matter where you go.

    Bang for the buck

    I know RPI is expensive. It is a hard blow to your pockets but the name of this university is widespread in the engineering, architecture, and business fields. A degree from RPI is a great investment in your future. While you're here you have the full university at your disposal. Every resource available to the university is available to you. The entire campus is your study room. The connections available through RPI are your connections to utilize. There is so much to do once you get here since you made it here. Plus RPI is great with financial aid. The employees at the financial aid office really do try to do the best they can to help you and academic success is compensated.

    Am enjoying being here

    I attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, Home of the Engineers and Puckman. I went to every one of our Division 1 Hockey team’s home games and several of our Division 3 Men’s Soccer Games, including the semifinals at Union College. I have learned the Alma Mater by heart and proudly sung it at every game’s halftime. I proudly wear my red and white and spent several afternoons studying out on different lawns on campus surrounded by the changing trees in the fall, the snow in the winter and the blooming flowers in the spring. But most of all I’ve made real connections with both my peers and my professors that will only continue to flourish fueled by mutual positive energy. And to think that when I completed my application I was just filling it out cause it only had one essay.

    Am learning a lot

    If you've looked into RPI as your prospective university you know of its academic merit but that merit is tied to the expectation of your academic dedication and excellence. The professors will expect a lot from you but if you put in the effort they will do the same. At times it may seem impossible but don't fall behind, master your studying habits, acknowledge what is the best way you learn and do it. The course work is intense, there is no denying it but it is possible. Make a friend in each class that way you have someone to talk to if you need help. Take advantage of all the resources RPI has to offer (ALAC, Office Hours, your TA's and LA's, if you don't get the abbreviations now you'll get them when you get here. We abbreviate almost everything.). The people here will help you but only if you do your part.

  • 10/12/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 6 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Engineers, science-oriented people, architects, nerds (and I say that with affection)

    Tips for prospective students

    Study for the SATs. It is a beatable test and with a good score you can get in many places. Also, challenge yourself and take some AP courses and see if you can get credit for any courses (you'll want to AP out of intro to bio if you can).

    Bang for the buck

    Yes it can get a bit pricey but it's a school with a great reputation. If you're an engineer you are almost guaranteed a job after graduation. You learn a lot here, housing is nice, and food is okay, not great but better than high school cafeteria food.

    Am enjoying being here

    The people here are awesome. Everyone on my floor (Crockett 3!) are really nice. We all leave our doors open if we're home and just hang out with each other. I also am still very good friends with some of the people I meet at NRB (Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond) even though I don't live in the same building as them.

    Am learning a lot

    I'm taking Intro to Comp Prog and I haven't ever done programming before so everything is new and exciting that class. Chem I and Calc II are review for me but I still am learning some things I didn't know before like vectors in Calc. In Minds and Machines (kinda philosophy class) I love learning all the different philosophical views on the nature of persons and consciousness.

  • 10/25/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 7 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    It works well for just about everybody, but most especially geeks, nerds, and smart people. We have our share of drunks and parties though too, so don't get intimidated by all the smart people.

    Tips for prospective students

    Choose at least one activity to participate in so you meet new people and make new friends. It doesn't have to be something you have experience with. Go watch at least one of each of the groups performances, you never know what you might enjoy.

    Bang for the buck

    Rensselaer is rather expensive, but seems to be well worth the money, especially with all the financial aid they offer. The food isn't amazing, but it isn't that bad either. It's kept clean and repaired. The staff is very friendly and will work on learning your names after they've seen you a few times. The education is well regarded and the dorms are relatively new and comfortable.

    Am enjoying being here

    There are many fun things to do here. I'm still a freshman, so I'm still learning of the many activities there are. There are relatively popular movies playing most Friday and Saturday nights, plays and performances by various musical or comedy groups most weeks, and a large collection of clubs and organizations you can participate in. Rensselaer has something for just about everyone.

    Am learning a lot

    Since Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is such a well regarded technical college, there are a lot of challenging courses. However, they understand that not everyone is immediately ready for the pace of college life, and start you out relatively easily. You can't slack off however, or you will fall behind and it will be very difficult to catch back up.

  • 01/27/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 8 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Hard workers, STEM students, students interested in participating in research, those who can stand the cold

    Tips for prospective students

    Recover your study skills from senioritis, because classes here will be much harder than they were in high school. The free time can be exciting at first, but you need to learn to manage it and keep a somewhat strict study regimen to survive. Berate the financial aid department, especially before you enroll. Even if your financial aid package seems surprisingly (in a good way) large, you probably still have a surprisingly (in a bad way) large cost of attendance. There are plenty of students, though, who managed to get comped their laptops or other bonuses by convincing the Aid department that they need help affording their education here. Seek out the culinary stylings of Tofu Tim.

    Bang for the buck

    The education's top notch, the food and housing are pretty good, there's a friendly, hard-working maintenance staff and a lot of amenities, but the total cost of enrollment is still outrageous. Financial aid helps quite a bit, and the 'tute can be fairly generous with it, but there's still no getting around the fact that you're paying private school prices.

    Am enjoying being here

    Troy, New York may not be bustling with nightlife and things to do, but the community and experience are still pretty good. For a characteristically nerdy school, there's a sizable Greek life that ranges the spectrum from classic party frats to small houses with just a few quiet guys who are really tight. Likewise, it's not hard to find people to party with, study with, play video games, work out, or anything in between. You just have to be sure you can make the most of the cold and the most of RPI's cripplingly guy-heavy ratio.

    Am learning a lot

    To say I'm learning a lot would be an understatement. I've had a very positive experience with the professors here, most being friendly, helpful, and approachable, and all being very knowledgeable. As much learning comes from unexpected places as does from one's core curriculum, though. Often, you'll get just as much out of your easy just for fun one-credit classes as you will any big lectures or labs, and your fellow students may sometimes teach you more than professors or TAs. Overall, its a highly academic environment.

  • 04/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 9 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are mixed feelings about campus safety. Escorts are available whenever needed and there are blue lights withing eyesight all over campus. The officers are pretty cool and will chat with you when you pass by them. The are friendly and supportive.

    Greek Life

    It survives for the 35 frats and 5 sororities on campus. They party all year round and have two weeks of Rush. Most have their own houses but some of them don't.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs and activities range from sports to chess and knitting. If you want to create a new club, you need 15 people to hop on the band wagon.

    Great for these types of students

    Problem solving, math based students love it here. If you are into the humanities, it's not really the place for you. If you like media or technical topics, RPI is the place for you. You might say it is techie nerdville. Oh yes, and the ratio between guys and gals is about 72% to 28%. So most guy end up trying to defy the ratio.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The White Out at the hockey game is unique to RPI, as is the carnival and GM (Grand Marshal) Day off (no classes). RPI has the western hemisphere's second most acoustically perfect building called EMPAC.

    Bang for the buck

    One thing for certain, you get an awesome, well respected education. The job market is up for RPI grads, and alumni are keen to offer internships.

    What to do for fun

    On campus, it's best to get involved in clubs or other campus activities. You can dance, ride horses, go to a concert, and more. You can sing in one of the four a cappella groups, there are numerous sports and often planned trips to mountains, waterways, and more. The movie theatre is an hour long bus ride away, so find a friend with a car. Get ice cream from Ben & Jerry's on campus, go to a frat party or a hockey game or swim competition.

    Food and Dining

    Most of the campus enjoys Sage and tofu Tim always has something up his sleeve. Most of us complain about the food on campus, but it is not like it is inedible. The biggest problem is that the food is the same everyday. There is not much variety.

    Dorm Life

    Freshman year you walk in knowing no one. But in just a few weeks, everyone is your best friend. Floor gatherings are common, especially the 2:00 a.m. pancake and movie parties. You haven't lived until you watch Star Wars in the wee hours of a day. It can get loud when party season starts, but come finals, everyone is as silent as the grave.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are challenging and tough, but you will know your stuff when you finish a class. By knowing your stuff, you realize you have a whole lot more work to do. Projects will consume your life, but you will feel great when you receive that A!

    Tips for prospective students

    Review your math skills before your first day. Be prepared for late night loud dorms and 3:00 a.m. study sessions. Don't be surprised when you get your first test back with a 65 for a score. It means you are on your way to an A.

    In three sentences

    RPI's campus might look old fashioned, but the classes are anything but! The beautiful buildings, abundance of trees and grassy open spaces may look idyllic but walk in a classroom and you will find technical speech flying back and forth. The students who come here are driven, mathematically minded and find most of our humanities befuddling!

  • 07/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 10 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You are in downtown in a rough city. I know of quite a few people who were attacked walking to a far away dorm from the main part of campus. Most places to live are on the main part of campus, which I would as a small female, walk around on at any time of day and feel perfectly safe, but not through Troy at night. There are safety pillars with public safety call buttons on them so you can call for a ride or an escort if you feel unsafe. There are only 6 really off-campus living areas and there is a shuttle that goes around to all of them from 7a.m. to 11 p.m. so there is no reason to be unsafe most of the time. But, again, the neighborhood is rough and we are right by a large high school, where a lot of trouble stems from.

    Greek Life

    There's dozens of frats and sororities. There are always parties going on and the first month or so of each semester they put on big fun events for anyone to swing by. Also for the ladies: most frat parties you can automatically get in free, you usually don't need to be on the list and so that is the trade-off for being the minority at the technical school, guys like girls to hang around.

    Clubs and Activities

    So many interesting clubs, sports (normal and intramural), and activities. I joined 14 clubs at the beginning of freshman year and have since painfully paired it down to two, the more difficult part would be not being involved.

    Great for these types of students

    The technically minded (math, physics, engineering, computer gurus) student who doesn't mind selling their soul for their GPA or who doesn't mind only getting a 3.5 (that's an amazing grade at RPI). Keep in mind most graduate and professional schools know of RPI's reverse grade-inflation so they know a 3.5 there translates to a 3.95 elsewhere.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Freshman hill always has tightrope walkers practicing. We don't have a tightrope or acrobatics club as far as I know, they just all gather. There's the big hockey game every year called The Big Red Freak-out where most of the campus pulls out all the stops to cheer on our boys in the rink.

    Bang for the buck

    For the buck? This school is EXPENSIVE. I have an almost maximum financial aid package and still end up paying $10,000 a year. But, for the name of the school on the diploma it is so worth it. There are good times if you let there be, college doesn't need to be all work (or all play). There are so many things to do and get involved in and you are getting a top notch education and you will be just WAITING for someone to ask where you go to college so you can off-handedly say oh, just a little place called RPI, it's in upstate New York, ever heard of it? Watch jaws drop and listen to people say wow, you must be so smart, congratulations!

    What to do for fun

    You're in Capitaland of New York, minutes from the capital, and a major airport, train, and bus station that can take you anywhere. In Troy itself there is an active nightlife with restaurants, bars, and clubs. There are concerts and cultural events on campus put on in EMPAC (a lovely new building for performing arts), there's a church and several religious clubs if you're into that, there are literally hundreds of clubs, service organizations, frats, sports teams, and many combinations thereof. My favorite are the acapella groups and (my favorite) the RPI idiots, RPI's best and only improv comedy troupe. There's always some event going on, and if there isn't you can make one with your friends.

    Food and Dining

    I have never gone hungry because the food is too gross, but I have ended up eating pizza in the main dining hall many a night. In general if parents are going to be on campus the food is amazing, and it is also slightly better during the main prospective students touring season. Compared to other schools we have gourmet dining from what I have heard, but it is sometimes difficult to find a healthy option that is palatable.

    Dorm Life

    I have only had that RPI kid roommates, the crazy kind that has some sort of disorder and really needs help but is a genius. There are mostly normal, amazing people there who are easy to make friends with though, so don't be scared. That being said, I always ended up with the crazies, however, the room change process is a breeze so you can change and be with people you like if the first one doesn't work out. Later on there are ample opportunities to have a single room and do whatever you want or to room with friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Hahahahaha, oh my. RPI. Well, it's crazy ridiculous. Even the art majors I know have lots of work but it is generally within the scope of reason. There will be a few sleepless study nights, but not every night (unless you need help). RPI has a reputation for being rigorous and it delivers on that promise.

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Study early, study often - this school is unforgiving for those who do not put in work for their grade. 2. Have a social life, no matter how small. Friends will help on those nights when you don't sleep studying for an exam, especially friends in your major, they will be right there with you. 3. Don't feel overwhelmed (or at least try) - this school has ridiculous amounts of work and reverse grade inflation, one can do well if they keep on top of things, get help when they need it, and keep trying. 4. The professors are people too, you can make friends with them, this may help your grade depending on the professor.

    In three sentences

    RPI is a challenging school and is for those who are technically oriented. I was always the top of my class in high school and now I fight for every A, which is the challenge I was looking for all my life. If someone does not like the idea of being required to take physics and calculus, this school is not for you. However, there aren't any true English classes, so there is a trade-off. What everyone hears about the ratio is true, there are far more males than females, but this is the nature of an engineering school that used to be all-male.

  • 03/19/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 13 people found this review useful. 11 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Am learning a lot

    I LOVE IT HERE!! COME COME!

  • 03/06/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 12 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Well it is an engineering school. But also it is a nationally acclaimed business school. So that makes its good school for a wide range of people. Engineers, scientists, mathematicians, architects, and business people will find it a perfect choice, but even pre-med, psychologists, economists can get a great education. Also there are many research opportunities of campus for students to get hands on experience.

    Tips for prospective students

    RPI does a great job in transitioning new students. There is a huge NRB (Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond) festival before school starts for incoming freshmen. But after that, I would just suggest: be social, join clubs, and talk to people. You'll

    Bang for the buck

    It's pretty expensive. But the school was also incredibly generous with financial aid, which really made it much more affordable. This school is quite renowned, and they put a lot of effort into getting graduating students jobs, so they investment is well worth it.

    Am enjoying being here

    The social life is solid. It didn't take long for me to find a great group of friends, and I'm actually joining a fraternity. Frankly though, the male-female ratio is pretty bad, and downtown Troy is rundown, but if you stay on campus, make friends with people for any number of the surrounding colleges, you'll always find something to do on the weekends.

    Am learning a lot

    My education at RPI has been top-notched. Class sizes are manageable; for the more common classes that everyone has to take, they can get pretty big, but as you continue to harder classes, size drops and you get more direct help. A couple years ago, the institution cut all foreign language programs, which was a real shame, but they make up for it with electives in just about every other field. Most of the teachers are great, and I feel like most of them are their for the joy of teaching, combined with the research opportunities the school provides professors.

  • 05/07/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 13 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Hard working students that aren't afraid to study a lot. Driven students who know what they want to do.

    Tips for prospective students

    Talk to current students in the major your looking at. Visit the campus. Make sure you mail in your forms on time. Plan for the cold.

    Bang for the buck

    RPI is one of the most well know engineering colleges. It's curriculum and networking opportunities are top of the line. RPI definitely gives you everything you need to succeed. From co-ops to internships to resume building they've got it covered.

    Will enjoy being here

    The community at RPI is one of the reasons I fell in love with it. the other students are some of the nicest people on the planet. There are so many clubs and sports to join. the housing is actually not bad and pretty close to the buildings where classes are held. the food is pretty good as well, my picky little brother actually enjoyed it so there's absolutely something for everyone.

    Will learn a lot

    The faculty is really incredible at Rensselear. They are very friendly, and the classes they offer are amazing.

  • 07/12/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 14 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    People who want to go into Game Design, Nerds, Engineers. I've pretty much said it above.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you consider yourself a nerd or geek of any sort, it'd be pretty easy for you to love this place. But also keep in mind that just because you've aced everything in high school, doesn't mean others won't be able to totally stun you and make you feel stupid by how much they know or do with their lives. Honestly, those types of people aren't usually the type to even notice how awesome they are and certainly don't make fun of you for not knowing everything they do. The school has enough prestige to bring in some amazing students, but the air is not pompous. I've never had a problem talking to anyone around here, or even getting help with homework. Take my words with a grain of salt, though, this has been my personal experience and not everyone has a blast. It's what they say, though, college is what you make it.

    Bang for the buck

    Alright... so it's pretty stupidly expensive and I'm having personal trouble with that, but without any parental help, I knew it was going to be rough. If you don't get a reasonable amount of financial aid, it's going to hurt and it's going to scare you when you see the debt. Don't let it daunt you right away, though. They seem to give everyone a little something to help them along, and a degree from RPI is a pretty big help in getting a job. It's not a promise, though. Work hard and you'll pretty much get what you've earned, at least. College is expensive everywhere, be wary of the looming debt.

    Am enjoying being here

    Absolutely. I mean, we have our fair share of parties, but there's so much more to be had. Like late night trips to Father's--the campus's convenience store that's open until 2am on weekdays-- LAN parties, homework parties, general hanging out, gaming, Munchkin, D&D, Paranoia. People are always around, and it's easy to find friends. If they're not around, you should probably also be doing your homework, just sayin'.

    Am learning a lot

    Not just about my major, either. I've found a fantastic group of friends that teach me about life, and excitedly about their personal fields of study. There's an amazing student body here, and the inspiration you get from that can be invigorating. I have learned quite a lot of academic things here, too. Programming, art, game design, the job environment and prospects for my major, etc. I've had some great professors who are willing to tell you all the relevant things as well as being academic. But perhaps it mostly has to do with the fact that a Game Design major is awesome. It's a lot more work than you think, though. Especially the programming. But don't be afraid of it, you might be surprised at how well you do.

  • 07/15/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 15 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Those who love to learn and who want to go to a school that focuses on science, engineering, and mathematics instead of liberal arts.

    Tips for prospective students

    * Be prepared to work hard. There is a difference between high school and college life, especially at RPI. * For women - sign up for the Women's Mentoring Program. It is a fantastic way to meet other women from your class as well as get advice from people who have been in your shoes before. * Get involved! RPI has a HUGE number of clubs/organizations just waiting for you to join them!

    Bang for the buck

    RPI is expensive. There is no way around that. However, the experiences and opportunities that going to RPI allows you are priceless - the percentage of students who leave RPI with a job is significantly higher than most other colleges. The biggest downside is the room/board requirements - living on campus for the first year is amazing, as you get to know what campus is like and you get to network with other students. However, they now have the requirement that sophomores too must live on campus, which *severely* limits the on-campus living space. Also, the rates are super high for room/board, without a great return.

    Am enjoying being here

    The social atmosphere of RPI is great too - it is a small enough school to where you will see people you know as you walk to class. There are an amazing amount of clubs and organizations, and greek life is very predominant in the culture of the school.

    Am learning a lot

    RPI is an amazing place for people who love to learn. There are so many amazing classes and great opportunities to do research with professors. The best part about it is that the small student to faculty ratio allows professors to learn your name - I love being able to walk into a professors office and have a one-on-one conversation about my academic progress. Also, almost all of the professors love to teach - I have not yet had a class from a professor who doesn't care if his/her students are learning. The professors take an active role in your education! That isn't to say that the classes are easy - as you get into the higher level of education, the classes do get more and more difficult and require more commitment on the part of the student. But from my experience the support net of RPI is fantastic.

  • 09/04/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 16 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    intelligent, hard-working, enthusiastic

    Tips for prospective students

    Get your study skills in order - now! Take the time to study over the summer if you're concerned your high school may not have prepared you well in certain areas - especially math and chemistry. Even if you got credit (from AP or dual-enroll) to skip a course, re-take it unless you are absolutely positive you got the material down-pat. Get involved in a club, and make friends - you'll need the support, because RPI is HARD.

    Bang for the buck

    Hefty, hefty price tag, but when most students graduate to have jobs paying a minimum of $60k and many getting $80k+ it's well worth it! RPI on your degree means you know your stuff, and have experience applying that knowledge, hands-on. And that makes you extremely valuable.

    Am enjoying being here

    With an entirerly student owned and run union, several hundred clubs, and a very tight-knit campus, you will always find something to do and someone to hang out with. Even if you don't like hockey, the hockey games are the cinch point of the school spirit!

    Am learning a lot

    The professors want you to pass, understand that it's hard, and yet push you to succeed. The support structure for first-year and struggling students is amazing. Even if you sleep through class (not advised!) you will learn more than you ever could at other schools.

  • 01/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 17 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Don't expect anything TOO fancy.

    Dorm Life

    BARH and Blitman are the best...but also the farthest.

    Academic Rigor

    The general courses may be easy, but if you're taking an honors course or more advanced courses, be prepared to work hard. If you work well and the professors see that, they may be more lenient on you, but no guarantees.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared for the workload and the gender ratio. Don't party too hard.

    In three sentences

    A great school if you are interested in engineering and science (or architecture), but otherwise, you should probably look elsewhere. The financial aid people can be finicky to deal with...call them or visit in person. Don't wait forever for their email replies. All the teachers speak English fairly well, thank goodness. Troy is a bit shady...just don't wander off campus by yourself at night.

  • 01/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 18 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    the campus food is all right, though not perfect. each dining hall serves the same foods daily, with the exception of one or two specialties that usually contain chicken. in particular, on any given day the school will serve hot dogs, hamburgers, two different kinds of pizza, chinese food, soups, salads, and desserts for the entire duration of the dining hall's hours, plus a breakfast, lunch, and dinner at specific times. one particular flaw in the school's dining system is that each dining hall closes at seven pm, leaving those with late classes/schedules to fend for themselves. they also seem to have a tendency to use aged leftovers within their meals, saving fresher ingredients for special occasions. however, the food is overall not that bad.

    Dorm Life

    the dorms at rensselaer are average living quarters, varying slightly in quality depending on which dorm it is. each dorm contains single/double living quarters, a floor or private bath, and a few lounges and other recreational rooms. each dorm has its own strengths and weaknesses when compared to the others. for example, the quadrangle complex has smaller rooms than the dorms on freshman hill, but is located much closer to the academic buildings. a few of the dorm rooms contain minor problems, such as small leaks or broken closet hinges, but these are usually fixed quickly. all rooms are provided with wireless internet, though people would be better off using the ethernet ports instead due to the unreliability of rensselaer's wireless servers.

    Academic Rigor

    this topic is very polarizing due to the dramatically different styles and structures between each class. there are a few professors who seem to be genuinely passionate about the topics they teach, but then there are others who apparently would rather be doing something within their field of study rather than teach to a classroom filled with students. at the same time, each class seems to have a completely different structure, which can be jarring if a student is used to a particular style of teaching. there was one lab-based science course that was notorious for being very unorganized, to the point where some students were forced to drop out because they were unable to decipher what was being covered in their lectures. on the other hand, the computer science classes contained an efficient, rigid structure like one normally expects from a college course.

  • 06/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 19 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have never felt unsafe on my campus or even off! If you do happen to venture off campus, as long as you are with friends, you will always return home safe and sound!

    Greek Life

    There are so many fraternities and sororities supporting the idea that Greek Life has to be prominent on this campus, which it is! Out of the 25 people or so I hung out with on a daily basis during my freshman year, about 15 were involved in Greek Life and another 5 or so are planning to rush in fall when we get back on campus! The others are involved in varsity sports or some kind of club!

    Clubs and Activities

    RPI has the most clubs compared to any other campus! I think the number is somewhere between 190-220 clubs! Not to mention there are about 42 fraternities and 5 sororities, and varsity sports! You'll never be bored on this campus, and if you are pick something new up! There's so many choices!

    Great for these types of students

    RPI attracts a lot of different students, but they all have one thing in common - they enjoy learning a hands-on curriculum even with rigor. As long as you have a hobby, you can find your niche on campus.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    RPI really is a very unique school full of its own traditions. We are not a football school at all - it's hockey all the way, baby! The Hockey House is always full for its games and of course there's the Big Red Freakout that no one can forget! It's basically our Homecoming! We also have our Winter Carnival with games galore! As for locations on campus, there are so many scenic spots on campus: inside the Quad on the green and on the hill outside of EMPAC, to name a couple. Definitely must-see places!

    Bang for the buck

    Rensselaer is my dream school! It was my number one choice and after the last year I spent on campus, I can assure you that it's beautiful and scenic campus, rigorous courses, talented and fair professors, and the numerous amount of students who share all my dreams, qualities, quirks, and hobbies, have made it quite clear that this is the school for me and I wouldn't trade the tiniest moment away for anything!

    What to do for fun

    There are so many opportunities to get involved it's overwhelming. RPI is known for the amount of clubs it offers the student body and also for having the most amount of clubs on any campus. Seventy percent of students on campus are also involved in some kind of sport, whether it's at the varsity level, club, or intramural! There's also approximately 42 fraternities and 5 sororities for students to get involved in and there are always Greek Life Events, which are fun to go to!

    Food and Dining

    There are four dining halls on campus: Commons, Sage, Blitman, and BAR-H. Commons and Sage are seen as ordinary food, BAR-H as when your grandparents come to visit and make the best breakfast, and Blitman as a restaurant with its own pagers for when food is ready! Blitman and BAR-H are saved for extraordinary events and for celebration and it should be that way! They have better food than actual restaurants. Commons and Sage was exciting at the beginning of the year but eating their food 3 times a day 7 days of the week was rather annoying. There are also two restaurants, Moe's and Pizzabella, a short distance past Academy Hall. There are cafes in the library, Sage Building, places to buy food in the Student Union. Usually there's a lot of variety that eating on campus is fun!

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life at RPI was what kept me going during hard times - academically and personally. Only one year at RPI under my belt, but I feel like I've known my friends there for an eternity! My hall freshman year was so active; every one's doors were open, the lounge was full of smiley faces, and the kitchen was full of delicious and mouth-watering scents. I was sad to leave behind a wonderful year and a hall of so many memories of happiness.

    Academic Rigor

    RPI has been listed as one of the best fifty colleges in the country for the past few years and it is steadily climbing the ladder to the top! It's also renown as one of the New Ivies. This recognition is based on the academic rigor of the 'Tute.

    Tips for prospective students

    Rensselaer is a wonderful opportunity and I commend you on your great academic success in high school - I know, because otherwise you wouldn't have been able to even look at RPI. This campus is definitely one of the toughest in the nation; knowing and choosing your prospective major is tough, but being able to make the decision to live four years of your life learning to specialize in engineering, the sciences, business, the arts, and architecture is extremely difficult! These next few years of your life are going to be stressful, no matter what university you choose and RPI is no exception, but RPI has a curriculum which guarantees your success out in the world because it has something that other colleges don't - hands-on learning and experience!

    In three sentences

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is an amazing engineering-based campus, capable of preparing future engineers for their futures! Although expensive, the curriculum, opportunity, and experience are well worth it! I enjoyed my first year here, learning and growing as a person and I hope to continue growing in my next three years at RPI!

  • 01/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 20 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel safe all of the time,

    Greek Life

    great, not in it myself, but the events are always good.

    Clubs and Activities

    many, many, many, many activities. Foreign Language Club, Society of Women Engineers, Sororities, Frats, Rensselaer Christian Association, Resident life, a huge range of clubs and activities.

    Great for these types of students

    RPI is great for students that love to learn, that don't back down easily, and students that are not afraid to try something new

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Genericon is pretty unusual but they stay out of youu way really

    Bang for the buck

    Kind of a mixed feeling here because tuition and Room/Board is high, but I've been assured that you definitely have job security after graduation.

    What to do for fun

    Individual clubs, like language, RCA (Rensselaer Christian Association), going out to eat at pizzabellas, lots to do!

    Food and Dining

    Great food! In all dinning, especially BarH, Commons, and Sage.

    Dorm Life

    Lots of studious students, I am one too! You just have to find the person or group of people you can nerd out with.

    Academic Rigor

    Extremely rigorous; each major has its own individual difficulty level though.

    Tips for prospective students

    For prospective students, don't forget your great study habits that brought you to this school in the first place!

    In three sentences

    Challenging, everything you would want in a college, opens many opportunities.

  • 02/17/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 21 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Review the academic standards early, I didn't take physics so this is not an option for me.

    In three sentences

    This school has an excellenct reputation. It seems that you should review this school earlier in your high school because they have aggressive academic standards.

  • 05/10/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 22 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Will enjoy being here

    I loved the reception I received when I went up for the open house. The campus was stunning and I am excited to try out some of the sports facilities.

  • 08/23/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    3 people found this inaccurate. 23 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Apply early

    Bang for the buck

    Relatively expensive, especially out-of-state tuition

    Will enjoy being here

    It is located in a large city but it seems like a nice place to be.

    Will learn a lot

    I have heard great things about this school.

  • 10/29/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    24 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    One of the books I read about financial aid said that RPI was one of the top schools in the nation for graduating students who end up making a lot of money in their careers. Most of those students are engineering majors though.

  • 11/16/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    25 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Graduate Undergraduate Young Old

    Tips for prospective students

    Wander the campus without a tour guide. Introduce yourself to people and ask random passers questions about the Institute.

    Bang for the buck

    Rensselaer is expensive. However, you get what you pay for and I am gaining a lot from it.

    Am enjoying being here

    I wouldn't trade it for anything....except Stanford (my home)

    Academic Rigor

    The professors are very good at what they do. Although the workload is very challenging, it gives students an opportunity to practice balancing multiple projects and other activities.

  • 01/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    26 of 61

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    RPI offers an excellent education. I have enjoyed my time at RPI. In the summer, RPI is really beautiful.

  • 02/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    27 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    they have a lot of things to offer!!

    Great for these types of students

    anime/comicon fans. there's a genericon thing/event that takes place. not so social kids, definitely the place to be at!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    it is located on the outskirts of albany, in the city of troy, which was hit rather hard by the recession.

    Bang for the buck

    rather pricey institution in terms of what you're exposed to...

    What to do for fun

    taking the megabus to new york city is convenient and relatively cheap for the weekends!

    Food and Dining

    food is provided by sodexo...enough said.

    Dorm Life

    some of the kids that come in are rather....unique, and a bit antisocial. expect a handful to complain about noise levels and the such....

    Academic Rigor

    very, very tough institution! one of the hardest to get an a in a course, but it is definitely worth it once you get that a!

    Tips for prospective students

    take stss and stsh courses as they will provide you with an insight and application of your major!

    In three sentences

    very awesome education and resources that are provided to you! research is granted to you, regardless if you're a first-semester freshman or a graduating senior! academic advisors are matched with you, which makes discussion and planning of short/long term goals fun!

  • 02/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    28 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    greek life is all there is for guys.

    Clubs and Activities

    swe for the girls, everyone i know that has joined has gotten the connections to get a job.

    Bang for the buck

    job opportunities if you made the most while at rpi are infinite once you graduate.

    What to do for fun

    fraternities is the only place to have fun on campus.

    Food and Dining

    dining halls are awful, get a meal plan with bonus or flex bucks and eat at the union or moes.

    Dorm Life

    cramped and be prepared for awkward roommates.

    Academic Rigor

    probably harder than ivys because there is no grade inflation.

    Tips for prospective students

    decide early on what you want to do and get experience especially co-ops and research.

    In three sentences

    great school if you know what you want to do and are motivated. however, don't expect it to be easy. grades are not inflated like at other schools.

  • 03/19/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    29 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have not been confronted in any dangerous situations since I've been on this campus.

    Greek Life

    I am not a part of Greek life. However, I feel that at my school fraternities are more about alcoholhood than brotherhood.

    Clubs and Activities

    I myself have not joined any clubs but I am part of the Men's soccer team. The East Campus Athletic Village is a nice place to have for activities and such.

    Great for these types of students

    If you are a student who likes to get his work done easily and play video games in your room, Rensselaer is the perfect place for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    An unusual tradition would be the annul day of costumes where students dress up in their favorite costumes for an entire day.

    Bang for the buck

    $58,000 is an obscene amount of money to pay for any education. The amount of loans that the average student has to pay back after graduating can take a lifetime.

    What to do for fun

    Joining an intramural sports team is always my first move. It is a fun thing to do, it keeps you in shape, and you can enjoy time with your friends.

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall food becomes humdrum very quickly. You will be left to order food off campus if you want a delicious meal once in a while.

    Dorm Life

    The types of people in the school vary on a very broad scale. Sometimes it may be difficult to get along and relate to others from different backgrounds.

    Academic Rigor

    It is a very rigorous school in that the intro course are meant to rev you up for the later coursework.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are majoring in engineering, take some form of Calculus before you arrive as a freshman. It can either be an actual course during the school year or supplementary studies over the summer.

    In three sentences

    It has a great academic environment. The standards are held high for each and every student. The social life is not very enlightening.

  • 03/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    30 of 61

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Greek life!

    Tips for prospective students

    The work load is light, but don't let it fool you, the work is hard. The exams are nearly impossible, be prepared to study more than you ever have before. The social scene can be a lot better than it seems if you make the most of it.

    In three sentences

    The school is a great institute, I feel as though I truly am getting an outstanding education. Although, most of it is self-taught and the lectures are often lacking. The social and greek life here is amazing.

  • 05/17/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    31 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    I ate a bagged lunch so I don't know how good the food is, but I saw one of the dining halls and the food didn't look bad!

    Dorm Life

    I honestly think the dorm rooms looked pretty big, and some of the upper class dorms were really nice.

    Academic Rigor

    The school looks very difficult.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus and talk to people.

    In three sentences

    I went to the design your future day for possible female students. I got to meet professors and students, it was a great experience. I also got to tour the beautiful campus!!

  • 05/18/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    32 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    There are only a few fraternities and sororities. Since it's 73% guys, my friend said that the frats mostly just drink. The sororities are more for girls to meet other girls. But there's no pressure to join Greek Life, and you won't be alienated if you don't want to participate.

    Great for these types of students

    Engineering is obviously the main area of study at RPI. But the president has taken some funding from the engineering program to give to the humanities. RPI's engineering ranks have dropped a little (but it's still really high and nationally recognized), but the humanities are really starting to come around. A lot of EMAC students said that they were already offered jobs in their fields, even when they were juniors. However, RPI does not have any language courses. I want take Spanish, so I'll have to go to SUNY Albany or Russell Sage for Spanish classes. But RPI, SUNY Albany, and Russell Sage have a deal where students from one school can go to the other schools for classes the home school doesn't offer. So I can go to SUNY Albany for Spanish, and my credit hours will automatically transfer over, and there's no extra fee.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There's a really cool gorge right off campus that not a lot of people know about. But you can swim in it when the weather's warm enough, or you can just hang out there and look at the gorge.

    Bang for the buck

    It's really expensive, but the financial aid people have helped me out a lot. Also, the name Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is known everywhere, and there are a lot of alum to help you out and give you a job. Money was a big factor in my deciding to go to RPI, but I know that a degree from RPI will help me make substantially more money out of school than a degree from a lesser university.

    What to do for fun

    I don't know much yet, but there's a really cool gorge that not a lot of people know about - so if you find it, you'll be one of the few people who can share in the secret. The EMPAC building has performances. The town is cute, and you can go there with your friends for dinner at Brown's. Albany is about 20 minutes away by car, so you can go to the mall in Albany for shopping and movies and stuff. But I don't think you'll need to leave campus, because there are a lot of clubs and student activities at RPI, so you'll constantly be occupied. And there's some Greek Life, so if you're into that, you can have fun with that, too.

    Food and Dining

    The cookies are good, but the food is just ok. There aren't too many healthy choices, so you'll have to be smart about what you put in your mouth.

    Academic Rigor

    The work is really challenging at RPI, but the professors are supposed to be really nice. There are also a lot of research opportunities - a lot more than you might have at another school. My friend didn't have amazing grades (around a 2.5 gpa I think), but he interviewed with a professor and showed him that he knew everything he needed to know, and was allowed on the research team. As long as you can demonstrate your ability, you should be able to succeed at RPI.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come visit the school, it'll help you make your decision. Everyone is so nice, and the campus is so beautiful. And if money is an issue, the financial aid people are really helpful.

    In three sentences

    Such a beautiful campus! I'll be doing electronic media arts and communication (EMAC), and it looks like an amazing program - all of the EMAC students with whom I spoke said that they were already offered jobs in their fields! RPI is definitely a good school to go to if you want to pay off your loans quickly - relative to the amount, of course.

  • 05/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    33 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    I pledged a fraternity my second semester here. Greek life at RPI is amazing, definitely my favorite part of college.

    Great for these types of students

    An engineering school like RPI is great for students with a little bit of nerd in them. The slightly introverted rule here.

    What to do for fun

    There are always things to do from spending time with friends to school events.

    Food and Dining

    The food at RPI is cafeteria food, so it's not going to be as good as the food your mom makes for you. That being said, compared to other cafeteria food, the food here is pretty here.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life at RPI is great

    Academic Rigor

    The work at RPI is difficult but you receive a fantastic education here.

    Tips for prospective students

    See the school before and after you apply, if possible.

    In three sentences

    The campus is big but not impossible to navigate. The school has a fantastic reputation for its math and science curriculum. The faculty are brilliant and are there to help students.

  • 05/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    34 of 61

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go watch a hockey game. Go to a party. Play sports on any of the many fields with friends. There is very good internet connection so for online gaming RPI does very well.

    Food and Dining

    I imagine that most college campus' have lacking food quality. The provider attempts to keep it varied, sometimes failing miserably, but it is generally okay. There are also many options off campus for dining, though they are usually not on meal plans.

    Dorm Life

    I personally had a great time, on a great floor. My roommate was great and the upperclassmen who reside in the freshman dorms put on activities to bring the floors together.

    Academic Rigor

    RPI is rated top in grade deflation. In other schools the work that is required to get and A will get you a B. You must work very hard to do well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Persevere in the sciences and math. Try to take AP or college courses.

    In three sentences

    Classes are difficult, but rewarding. The professors are enthusiastic about their classes, and all have office hours. Life on campus is very diverse, there are many different people, some strange, though most are friendly.

  • 05/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    35 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    People do get mugged in or around campus, fairly frequently.

    Greek Life

    Lots of it.

    Clubs and Activities

    They are there, but nothing really different from other colleges I would assume.

    Great for these types of students

    The obvious answer would be computer, math, and engineering types. But I feel the school more fits a type of person rather than a type of student, or maybe it's just me.

    Bang for the buck

    Really expensive, in all aspects of life, and I feel like I'm getting ripped off.

    What to do for fun

    Not really much, I really like parties or large social gatherings. The weather is pretty bad, so outside is severely limited. Lots of people playing video games.

    Food and Dining

    Same, it's hit or miss, and the mandatory meal plan for youngster, is expensive.

    Dorm Life

    Nothing Special.

    Academic Rigor

    I know I'm only taking freshman to sophomore level classes, but still, I wasn't really engaged or inspired, and I watched a lot of TV.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be sure that this type of college life (or college in general) is what you really want, most people like it, many find the academics too hard. But the reverse is also true.

    In three sentences

    A good school with a slightly overblown reputation. Like most places the people are nice, but it seemed like there wasn't much to do. As always stuff is on you, it's not as easy as it should be.

  • 05/26/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    36 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    fairly cheap compared to other good schools

    Dorm Life

    beautiful

    Academic Rigor

    looks fantastic

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you get good grades and are involved in your community so that you have a better chance to get in. Also, make sure you really love this school.

  • 05/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    37 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    They're really good about patrolling campus and keeping it safe.

    Greek Life

    30% of kids are involved in Greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    Lots and lots of clubs and organizations on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Nerds, geeks, hard works, competitive kids and student-athletes.

    What to do for fun

    Albany has a decent social life but the Greek fraternities on campus are the places to go for parties.

    Food and Dining

    Food is edible, staff is awesome.

    Dorm Life

    Rooms are always available and some are better than others. Some are air conditioned so if you really don't think you can deal with the heat then go for those, but its really not that hard to deal with.

    Academic Rigor

    Engineering classes are the hardest to understanding, management classes have a lot of busy work.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get a hold of your schedule early in the semester and start working on time management.

    In three sentences

    It's a great school if you are interested in engineering. The atmosphere is a bit geeky and nerdy. You have to work hard to be number one here.

  • 05/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    38 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus safety is pretty good. They could be a little bit nicer.

    Greek Life

    There is a massive Greek Community at RPI. Be sure to check it out. It is very different from what the movies show.

    Clubs and Activities

    The Union is one of the only student run organization that decided which clubs and activities will be held at RPI. If you want a club, you can make it.

    Great for these types of students

    Studious Strong Career-oriented Hard working

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    EMPAC- giant glass building with giant wooden egg theater

    Bang for the buck

    It's very expensive. VERY expensive.

    What to do for fun

    Join Clubs, Greet life, go visit Albany, explore campus, go eat Pizza Bella's or Moe's.

    Food and Dining

    The food seems good at first, but slowly and surely it becomes hard to eat it everyday.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are decently spaced and good enough to live in. It is very expensive.

    Academic Rigor

    It is very hard to get an A in some of the upper level classes. Listen to everything.

    Tips for prospective students

    Think before you commit. Be sure to be willing to go the extra mile.

    In three sentences

    It's very demanding and very tough. Do not go there if you are expecting a laid back easy-A college experience. Be prepared and ready for lots of work.

  • 06/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    39 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is pretty scary at night and there are constantly alerts for muggings and the like. If you stay in large groups, there aren't really problems. If you do happen to be walking alone, be alert. Do not get distracted by texting or listening to music because there are people looking to attack people that are just distracted enough. Really, the only downside of the school is that the campus is in kind of a scary place.

    Greek Life

    Greek life at RPI is very different from that of other schools. Since the majority of students are geeky and quirky, sororities and fraternities allow you to find the group of people that you get along best with all in one place. It's really very low-key and does not compare to greek stereotypes. For girls, sororities are one of the best ways to make female friends that you get along well with, as the guy/girl ratio is ridiculous.

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons of clubs and activities. Sports, music, video games, cultural groups, academic clubs, greek life, etc.

    Great for these types of students

    Quirky, academically driven, smart, geeky

    Bang for the buck

    Very expensive, but the school is good about merit scholarships and need-based aid. The education is top-notch, so it's definitely worth what you would end up spending after aid and scholarships.

    Food and Dining

    Commons: typical cafeteria dorm food, pretty okay but mostly crappy Sage: significantly better food and atmosphere. Only available to residents of Quad, E-Complex, North, and BAR-H between 10 and 2 on weekdays.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are pretty okay, but some of them (read: quad) are so old that they're literally falling apart and you will need maintenance to visit at least weekly to fix one thing or another

    Academic Rigor

    Really hard, but if you're willing to put your all into your academics, it's really worth it. RPI is world-renowned for its academic rigor and a degree from here has a good amount of weight.

  • 06/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    40 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Overrated.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Brown Bag burgers. Pizza Bella.

    What to do for fun

    Go to malls but without a car it takes 40-60 minutes to get to them. Eat around troy or visit downtown troy, which isn't very nice.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you visit before you come and learn about all aspects of the school: academic, greek life, clubs, housing, and financial aid.

    In three sentences

    RPI is a good school but way to expensive. With tuition increasing each year, attending this school becomes less valuable.

  • 07/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    41 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is relatively safe. Just use common sense and don't walk around Troy at night by yourself.

    Greek Life

    RPI has a large number of students involved in greek life. While I am not involved with it myself, I know a bunch of students who are extremely happy with their decision to go greek.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's something for everyone. The Student Union hosts an activities fair in the fall that hosts most of the student organizations on campus that is great for anyone who is looking to become involved.

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone who wants to learn, and likes math/science/engineering (although the school does have students studying business and other subjects as well)

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Black Friday and Big Red Freakout hockey games-both are usually sold out crowds.

    Bang for the buck

    Employers definitely recognize the caliber of professionals that this school produces. You will be set up well for a career once you leave RPI.

    What to do for fun

    UPAC movies on Friday and Saturday nights, local eateries (Such as Moes and Ben and Jerry's in the Union), the Game Room in the student union, and hanging out with friends.

    Food and Dining

    Basically its college food. You're not going to be eating at a 5 star restaurant in the dining halls, but its not terrible either. The biggest problem is finding healthy choices. However, if you're conscious of when and what you eat the freshman 15 won't be a problem for you.

    Dorm Life

    Some dorms are nicer than others. The biggest disadvantage to dorm life is the inability/difficulty to make food for yourself. However, there is a great community in each of the residence halls and a good amount of common space to hang out in.

    Academic Rigor

    You'll see RPI on the toughest schools list almost every year. However, there is help available for most classes so students can succeed even if they are struggling.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't come in thinking you're going to ace all of your classes. There are some student who naturally gifted enough to not need to study much and still attain close to a 4.0. Unfortunately for the majority of students this is not a realistic goal. However, if you stay on top of your work, it is manageable to get at least a B in most classes.

    In three sentences

    RPI is probably one of the toughest academic endeavors you have experienced so far, but the experience both in and out of the classroom is definitely worth the difficulty. Its great because you are put in a group of peers that are exactly like you. It can be rough at times, but overall I've had a very positive experience.

  • 07/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    42 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Within the campus, there are usually not many issues. However, you need to be wary when leaving campus, especially at night. The best advice I can give is to travel with someone. There are school shuttles that run fairly late that will take you to the different and farther parts of campus, at no cost. If you are very late, you can call public safety and they will be happy to escort you to wherever you need to go.

    Greek Life

    Not being a part of Greek Life, I can't say too much about it. However, from what I have seen and heard from others, it is pretty good. there are several different Greek organizations on Campus, and those that I know that are a part of them are very happy.

    Clubs and Activities

    I am a member of several great clubs. If you have an interest in something, chances are that there is a club of some sort for it. I have recently completed Ground School training for my private pilot's license through the Rensselaer Flying Club, at a greatly reduced price than what many others will pay.

    Great for these types of students

    Those interested in technology, engineering, science. Hard workers.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Genericon - an Generic Convention for sci-fi, anime and gaming. They have vendors, special events, and guest speakers. This usually occurs in the winter. There is also the Low Gallery - dedicated to George M. Low, former RPI student and president, and a well known NASA administrator during the moon landing days. The gallery has interesting artifacts and memorabilia.

    Bang for the buck

    The school is fantastic. Is is recognized not just nation wide, but worldwide as a great place for education (Business Insider recently ranked it at #4 in the world for engineering and computer sciences). The downside is that while very great, the school is also very expensive.

    What to do for fun

    Catch the bus down to the mall for shopping or a movie. Hang out with friends in your dorm's lounge. Go to a hockey game. Order Chinese food or pizza. Join one or more of the clubs. On weekends, there are movies playing in the big auditorium in one of the buildings. These movies range from great classics to films that just left theaters, but are not yet available on DVD.

    Food and Dining

    The food quality is fairly decent. BARH and Sage dining halls are much better than the commons dining hall. Sage has particularly good omelettes in the morning.

    Dorm Life

    Some dorms are better than others, but I was very happy with my dorm. I made fantastic friends and we had a great time. Residence Life (ResLife) often puts on special events for students, and the RA's also put on fun events.

    Academic Rigor

    The courses can be very challenging. Don't be afraid to ask for help - the professors are typically happy to help whenever they can.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make friends. Have fun, but be responsible. Study hard but be sure to have some me time. Join some clubs and organizations.

    In three sentences

    An excellent school for those interested in engineering and sciences. The faculty is extremely approachable and helpful to students. A fantastic place to study.

  • 08/01/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    43 of 61

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    The people that I meet and the classes I take are inspiring. The campus is beautiful but in the winter it can get a little chilly so pack a coat and a good pair of boots. It's ok to be not normal at this school, in fact it's encouraged to nbe completely unique which is awesome.

  • 08/14/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    44 of 61

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    My favorite thing to do was play in the snow, since there was plenty of it.

    Food and Dining

    The food is amazing. Maybe not like the food back home.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm are nice, the roommates are better.

    Academic Rigor

    The school is the perfect place for a student who is looking for a challenge.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not be shy. Make many friends and study hard. Keep your mind focus on academics. Study now, party later.

    In three sentences

    It is beautiful, even though i haven't been on campus. The people are very kind. And brace yourself for the weather.

  • 10/26/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    45 of 61

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Ice hockey locally

    Tips for prospective students

    Very high math and science grades.

    In three sentences

    Seems to have a prestigious Engineering program. Very selective in its applicants. Takes pride in its students

  • 10/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    46 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    So far I haven't had any problems, but I also haven't really seen them do anything. I've heard about their escort policy, if you're not feeling safe walking back to your dorm from the library or somewhere else late at night you can call an escort, but I';ve never taken advantage of it.

    Greek Life

    There are something like 15 frats and 5 sororities. For a girl, the Greek Life is pretty limited if you are looking to pledge. The guys have so many options. Fall Rush was a month long and just a lot of fun for everyone - guys and girls.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many choices, and the one's that I participate in are great. There's definitely something for everyone.

    Great for these types of students

    Students that aren't afraid of a hard course load. It has the reputation of a nerdy school, but there are a lot of social nerds.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Hockey Line is interesting. People honestly line up 2 weeks before season tickets go on sale just to buy tickets.

    Bang for the buck

    It has such a good reputation that comes with the name. The amount of big name companies that come to the career fair and hire directly from RPI is astonishing.

    What to do for fun

    Clubs, volunteer organizations, club sports teams, hockey games, and the Greek events. There's so much I want to do and not enough time to do it, I'm always busy, but I'm not going crazy. I'm also always up for a night in watching movies with my friends.

    Food and Dining

    It's dining hall food - what do you expect? My stomach hurt for a few weeks while my body adjusted, and a nice homecooked meal every once and a while makes it better.

    Dorm Life

    Despite having to move rooms because of mold, an unfortunate situation they were really accommodating about, I love the dorm life. Most of my good friends are in the dorm I previously lived in. I've heard it's even better if you live in the selectively freshmen dorms, but there is something to be said for living with upperclassmen.

    Academic Rigor

    It's hard, but I expected it to be hard. They have a ton of resources available for freshmen to get used to the rigor and pass the classes without destroying their GPA. Taking advantage of these opportunities definitely makes it easier.

    Tips for prospective students

    Use the resources available to pass your classes; it isn't like high school where going to 'drop-in tutoring' isn't cool. There is always a bunch of people there with the same problems as you, and you will definitely get the help you need. Join some clubs at the activities fair, it makes things a lot better. Remember that grades aren't everything and don't get too worked up.

    In three sentences

    It is challenging academically. There are definitely a lot of people who care about your experience here, trying to make it as great as possible. There are so many opportunities to succeed.

  • 11/07/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    47 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The food was ok, and nothing spectacular, just average dorm food

    Dorm Life

    The dorms were clean when I visited.

    Academic Rigor

    I am not a student there yet.

    Tips for prospective students

    JUNIORS!!! Talk to your guidance counselor about receiving the Rensselaer Medal. It is a guaranteed scholarship awarded to juniors

    In three sentences

    The first time I visited RPI seemed dark and a little dull (mostly because it was raining). When I went back for the RPI Medalist Open House the campus grew on me, and the more I saw the more I liked it.

  • 12/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    48 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are emergency telephone poles around campus and public safety officers who patrol the campus at night. Troy does have higher crime than my hometown so it is not rare to see reports of burglaries or muggings but violent crimes are rare.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is a great tool for being social, networking, fun events, and service.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many awesome clubs at RPI such as: 1. Snowboard/Ski Club is one of the largest on campus with hundreds of members and frequent trips. 2. Flying Club provides funding for ground training at $300, a fraction of the normal price when pursuing a pilot's license. 3. RPI Ambulance provides free EMT training and certification. 4. Various clubs based on nationality and/or major 5. Various service & volunteer organizations And many more such as honor societies, athletics & fitness, professional, performing arts, religious, media, and student government organizations.

    Great for these types of students

    Students interested in science and engineering will appreciate the academic and intellectual atmosphere here.

    Bang for the buck

    RPI is an expensive university. Expect to pay around 20k/yr after financial aid. If you are serious about your future, use the available career resources RPI has to offer and the price tag is justified.

    What to do for fun

    RPI has over 160 clubs, sports, and organizations. Hockey is the biggest sport with home games versus other division I colleges such as Union, Dartmouth, and Princeton. There are events held every week such as performances at the Experimental Performing Arts Center, performances by student groups (dance, acapella, etc), and weekend movie showings by UPAC. RPI does have parties but are hard to find if you are not of the female variety or connected to the fraternities/sororities that hold them. Greek life also provides many more social events.

    Food and Dining

    Sage and Commons are the largest dining halls on campus (buffet style) that always have the common selection of burgers, fries and pizza, as well as alternating options and healthy options.

    Dorm Life

    Occasional small events are hosted. The better housing on campus is available to upperclassmen although I recommend living off campus if you can afford it because it is much cheaper.

    Academic Rigor

    RPI is known to be a challenging school with most students studying science or engineering. Architecture is widely agreed to be the most time consuming.

    Tips for prospective students

    RPI has a great set of tools and opportunities that can justify the price, but only if you seek them out.

    In three sentences

    RPI has many extracurriculars, events, and volunteer opportunities. Most students here are majoring in engineering, science, or business. Perhaps the greatest asset of this university is its connections to companies such as GE and Boeing, the semesterly Career Fair where these companies come to interview students, and many other assets to help you find internships, co-ops, and employment after graduation.

  • 12/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    49 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe. Public Safety is patrolling 24/7 but they are very noninvasive. I have spoken with a few of them and they are nice, too. Have never heard of any incident on campus. Also, there are tons of emergency stations around campus where you can contact Pub Safe in an instant.

    Greek Life

    Plenty of frats and sororities to join if you'd like to. I'm not in one personally, but all of them are open to outsiders.

    Clubs and Activities

    If you can think of something, chances are there is a club for it. And if there isn't, well I would encourage you to start one! Most clubs are funded through the student owned and student ran Student Union. Clubs are a great place to meet new people and have fun.

    Great for these types of students

    Smart, Techie, Geeky, Outgoing, Friendly.

    Bang for the buck

    Very expensive. So worth it.

    What to do for fun

    I play videogames mostly since I am a Game and Simulation Arts and Sciences major, but there is more than that here. There are presentations held just about daily that you can attend. You can go bowling down by Blitman. You can go to the library and read. You can take a stroll around the large, beautiful campus. You can hang our with your dormmates. You can head downtown (a short walk) and visit local shops. You can take a bus to the movies. You can go to events that are hosted every now and then. You can go to a frat party. There are tons of things to do. There are also freaking tons of clubs and student sponsored activities to join in on!

    Food and Dining

    All you can eat buffet everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I love it! Food is from Sodexo. Could be of better quality, but it is definitely better than making the food yourself.

    Dorm Life

    I love mostly because I am in Leadership House and we have an amazing community. RA's are wonderful. LA is wonderful. RD is wonderful. And my roommate is wonderful. Everybody on my floor is wonderful as well. We always have a game of Smash going on in the Lounge too! Only downside is having to poop in a shared bathroom :p

    Academic Rigor

    If you get accepted, it shouldn't be too terribly difficult. But you will be tested rigorously.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to introduce yourself to everybody you see your first week of school, everyone is looking for friends. Be prepared to work hard at our school. Don't forget to get involved in sports or clubs though!

    In three sentences

    A beautiful spacious campus atop a hill overlooking Troy, New York. Incredibly intelligent and involved peers. A wonderful place to study.

  • 12/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    50 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus safety officers are all nice (I talk to them NOT GET IN TROUBLE WITH THEM). They do not hold too much authority on campus but they are who you call if you need something. Accidents do not happen too often on campus, and when they do it is something minor like getting punched in the back of the head for a slice of pizza. Its better not to walk alone after dark though.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is huge. One in four students are a part of a Greek organization and for good reason. All houses provide a network of students that can help you with classes, relate to your problems, and help you through school. Plus there are enough houses on campus so anyone can find one they fit into! I love the Greek system here.

    Clubs and Activities

    Intramural sports are huge. RPI has a lot of clubs to offer as well. There is a whole list of the on their website.

    Great for these types of students

    Studious and hardworking Dedicated and driven Students who know what they are interested in

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Everyone likes to gather in the union to eat, socialize, or study. the library is always filled to the brim during the study days before finals, but Red and White (a student organization) kindly opens up the Hefner Alumni house to students who need a place to study. They also provide free food and free drinks.

    Bang for the buck

    Apply for as many scholarships as you can. This school is extremely expensive. All of the expenses can be worth it if you do well in classes, and you will learn a lot. Do not expect to have too much fun.

    What to do for fun

    If you know what there is on campus you will never be bored, the hard part is finding out what this school has to offer.

    Food and Dining

    There are four major dining halls on campus. AVOID COMMONS. Sage is alright, BarH is ok, and Blitman is delicious but repetitive. All of the dining halls offer not-so-healthy food and a fun atmosphere. Freshman 15 warning. Otherwise most of the acedemic buildings have some sort of cafe in them, and downtown Troy has some lovely eating areas.

    Dorm Life

    Depending on your interests the dorms can be interesting or boring. Many students choose to go out and party, stay in and party, or stay in and play video games. These students do not do well in their classes. Others plays sports, cook food, explore the farmers market, attend concerts, or watch movies with friends. I know a number of DJ's and athletes.

    Academic Rigor

    The course material is extremely helpful if you are interested in it. All of the courses are taxing, and you will not have much free time. The Institute does provivde many resources to help you with all classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not come here if you struggle with math, physics, or chemistry. These classes are essential to all engineering majors, and are mandatory. Also, the ratio between guys and girls is somewhat overwhelming. Guys: do not come here thinking you will find a girlfriend.

    In three sentences

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a fantastic school if you are planning on majoring in the engineering field. All of the core classes are tough, with the classes applying to your major challenging you to their full extent. The Albany/Troy are can be beautiful as well if you are in the right neighborhood, but can be slightly boring sometimes.

  • 12/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    51 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    There are four major dining halls: Commons, Sage, Blitmann, and BARH. But, there are many other places you can buy food using flex dollars. Sodexo is the food company that dominates campus.

    Dorm Life

    Freshman dorms (floor style) are very social and a great way to meet your new classmates. Barton, which is a new dorm, is really nice and spacious. It is a triple with a suite-style bathroom. All freshman and sophomores must live on campus unless you are involved in greek life in your sophomore year.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are very challenging here, and they usually do not curve grades either. You have to be very motivated in what you are learning in order to be successful here.

    Tips for prospective students

    Try to give an insight as to who you are in the application essay, and take AP classes if your school offers them especially in the math and science department. Also, talk to the coaches if you are interested in playing a sport.

    In three sentences

    RPI is a great technical school for those pursuing a math, science, or engineering degree. It has great connections with many businesses that will help you get a job. It is also very challenging, but will pay off in the end.

  • 01/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    52 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek life is pretty huge here, more so for guys than girls. There are only 5 sororities but around 30 frats. Frat parties are usually the big events on the weekends so it helps to be a brother so you can get in. Girls can always get in.

    Bang for the buck

    This school is really expensive but on the bright side you get a great education and employers know your school when you go to interviews.

    What to do for fun

    Frat parties, hockey games, and late night adventures are usually my go to fun times.

    Food and Dining

    It will be good for the first week or too but then goes downhill from there... I do however recommend the omelettes from sage dining hall though!

    Dorm Life

    The friends you make in your dorm freshmen year will likely last you your entire college career. So be open to new people and new things during orientation week because you are stuck with these people for a whole year. The dorms are also decent sized and not gross so that is a bonus.

    Academic Rigor

    Not going to lie this school is tough. If you don't stay on top of your work you will get buried and have a rough semester. As long as you are focused and know when to pick up the books and put down the booze you will be fine.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared to study and work your butt off but also be ready to party hard.

    In three sentences

    I love going to RPI. It is a top-notch school that has so much more to offer than just a great education. They have thriving Greek life and more clubs than people know what to do with.

  • 03/30/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    53 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The main dining halls are boring and don't have the best choices for food. There are many other places on campus to eat though and you can use Flex dollars from your meal plan to eat there.

    Dorm Life

    As a freshman the dorms are somewhat small, but they are reasonably new and overall a nice place to live. The bathrooms are shared on each floor for most freshman dorms and they get really dirty, especially on weekends. As a sophomore you can move into dorms with private bathrooms, but the buildings are old and not taken care of well.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are somewhat interesting and very difficult. There are many choices in classes but most of the good classes are really difficult to get into.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you love the school and are sure you will be interested in your major, by all means attend RPI. Pay attention to the financial aspect of the school though, you could end up in a lot of debt.

  • 05/14/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    54 of 61

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There is something happening on campus any given day of the week. Take your pick. And of course the main ones are listed online, as we are a tech school. Personally I enjoy spending time in downtown Troy at the farmers market and talking to the shop keepers. I've also gone to shows at EMPAC and student performances all over campus. There is something for everyone as long as you are willing to make a effort to leave your room.

    Food and Dining

    There are a few on going jokes among students about the food here, but in reality, its not too bad. You can normally find something good to eat at the dining halls and the cafes are amazing!

    Dorm Life

    Your hall mates will become your family. depending on who you live with will dictates how this is for you. for me, my floor was a huge family. if doors are open and people are talking to each other, you will have the best year ever like I did.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes and tests are hard, and sometimes feel close to impossible. Know that you won't be alone in this. Just about everyone feels that way and everyone is willing to tutor you if you need the extra help. Everyone becomes an expert in at least 1 class and once you get the handle on how classes are going, it gets a lot better.

    Tips for prospective students

    My tip for prospective students would be to work on study skills. No matter how smart you may be in high school, at RPI, you will study.

    In three sentences

    I absolutely love it here for the following reasons: majority of the students are here because of their love and desire for a good education, the professors here really do care for their students (it helps if you get to know them outside the classroom), it is super easy to get involved on campus (we have over 200 clubs funded though our student union), and the friends I made here. Everyone on campus is like family to me, and we all look out for each other.

  • 05/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    55 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is generally pretty safe. If you live in Barh the walks home late at night can be a little sketchy. Very rarely is there any situations on campus or around. The biggest issue being fire alarms being set off due to burnt popcorn

    Greek Life

    The Greek life is very respectable and traditional, but don't be fooled we have our deal of parties. The party atmosphere at RPI is much calmer with almost each party requiring an invite to enter. One doesn't have to worry about random people entering and the brothers and sisters involved in Greek are great people and are really nice.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a club for everyone...literally everyone. We have over 200 clubs on campus and all are ridiculously fun. Don't find a club that sparks your interest? Start one of your own! The process is easy and you only need a few friends to start one.

    Bang for the buck

    RPI is expensive like ridiculously so, but if you get scholarships it is completely worth it.

    What to do for fun

    There is a lot of clubs on campus so get involved! Life can be pretty dull if you don't join a club or go greek because frankly troy isn't too exciting. The Greek system is actually really respectable so rush and get to know the sororities/fraternities worst case you get some free food out of rushing!

    Food and Dining

    The food at commons is awful, but the sandwich station is amazing so it balances out. Sage and Blitman have by far the best food, but trust me by the end of your first year you will be sick of college food. It's good but not an I want to eat this every day of my life good.

    Dorm Life

    Each dorm has it's own personal atmosphere. BARH is full of athletes and mostly people who prefer a much quieter atmosphere. If you are looking for a more college like dorm consider bray, barton, or cary.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes range from easy to hard but all of which will be challenging. Listen to your upperclassmen about professors and class choices. Definitely think through your elective choices and consider getting ahead by taking a heavier course load; it pays off in the end.

    Tips for prospective students

    RPI is a great school for engineering as well as other majors but is very challenging. It may not be an Ivy League but the work level and expectations are that of an Ivy League. Don't come here if you are looking for an easy degree.

    In three sentences

    RPI is for students looking for a real challenging and rewarding academic atmosphere. The people are nice and welcoming. RPI is a great option for students looking for a smaller more intimate college atmosphere.

  • 08/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

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    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are a surprising amount of frat parties! Troy is also pretty close and not as bad as I initially thought. There are over 200 clubs to join and so many different types of people, so it's easy to make friends (especially with people who have video games and/or Netflix)

  • 11/05/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

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    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are call boxes all over campus, and you are never out of sight of one. You can regularly see the Public Safety cars driving around campus, and if you feel unsafe at any time on or near campus, you can call Pub. Safe to give you a ride back to the dorms.

    Greek Life

    It's wonderful! I know that at least for the sororities, there is no hazing at all. In my sorority, we had a gift week where our then-unknown Bigs gave us gifts throughout the week. The Greek population here is generally very friendly and active on campus. There are somewhere around 30 fraternities on campus, with many having a house or apartment where the brothers live. There are five sororities total, with three main social ones. The IFC and Panhellenic Council preside over all the Greeks and there are Greek events throughout the year. Going Greek is a great way to make connections that might end up assisting you in finding future job opportunities (in addition to the fun social side of it).

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs on campus, it's pretty much guaranteed you will find a club you are interested in. If you played sports in high school, we have many intramural teams and club teams in addition to Div. III school sports teams (with men's and women's hockey being Div. I). I personally am on the club volleyball team, cheer squad/team, and an intramural soccer team this fall, and I love it. If you love your videogames, like knitting, enjoy hiking and biking, or like shooting targets with a bow and arrow, those clubs are here too! So many to choose from, you'll have trouble fitting in time for all the ones you want to join!

    Great for these types of students

    Well-rounded, driven, and students willing to look for help when needed will succeed here. Almost all of us here are nerds at heart, even if we don't look like it. Ask around and you're more likely than not to find something at least slightly nerdy about every student here. You have your extreme gamers that don't leave their dorms except to go to class, all the way to your ROTC/jocks and everything in between. Not all of us are socially awkward either!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    I haven't yet experienced the winter/snow here yet, but I hear that many students take trays from the dining halls to sled down hills on campus. Pizzabella's is the place to go for late night pizza after hanging out (or while hanging out) with friends. There is also a spot near Sage Dining where you can stand, talk normally, and hear your voice echoing back to you. Oh, and West Hall is said to be haunted (though my friends and I haven't found anything yet).

    Bang for the buck

    It's expensive, but it sure does pay off in the end once you land that high-paying job with a well known company after graduation. The financial aid given to students is usually very good.

    What to do for fun

    If you have a floor/wing that is social, hang out with them! I've made quite a few friends just by hanging out outside my dorm room, or just leaving my door open during the first few weeks of school. If you have a car (or a friend with a car if you are a freshman) you can travel into Albany or go to Colonie Square or the mall. Troy can sometimes be an interesting place to explore with friends, as long as you do it during the daytime.

    Food and Dining

    The food actually isn't all that bad considering it's campus food. Pizza and salad is always an option. Commons and Sage both have delis where you can have a sandwich or wrap made for you. Commons, Sage, and BARH all have a grill with hamburgers, fries, ect. There are themed meals each night to offer variety. Freshmen are required to have a dining hall meal plan, but can choose how many meals per week. We have Flex dollars that are included in the meal plan costs and can be used to buy things like Ben & Jerry's in the Student Union (yum!). Pizzabella's and Moe's are right next to each other just off campus and many students choose to go there for late night pizza or Mexican food. There are also some really good places to eat in Troy (the Brown Bag, Dinosaur BBQ, Dante's frozen yogurt, etc).

    Dorm Life

    None of the freshman dorms (except for Barton Hall) have air conditioning, which isn't a huge deal for most of the year, but it's slightly annoying the first month or so of school. Most of the dorms are old (again with the exception of Barton), and I ended up living in a forced triple because of the large freshman class this year (forced triple meaning 3 people in a double with a slight discount on room&board prices). Having a kitchen on most floors in the dorms is useful, even though the appliances are usually older. It would be nice to have more storage space in the rooms, but that may just be a problem for me since I'm in the forced triple setting.

    Academic Rigor

    With the possible exceptions of the HASS (Humanities and Social Science) courses, the classes you will take here are pretty challenging in general. A note on the HASS requirements for any degree: take psychology, starting with gen psych. They are by far the easiest classes you will take here. It's a nice break from the other classes you are required to take throughout your time here. Classes are challenging, and tests are rarely curved to my knowledge, though you are probably not doing as poorly in your class as you think you are based off test grades. For example; physics 1 grades are padded with in class 'activities' and homework grades in addition to your test grades (you also have the option of replacing a poor test grade with the grade you get on the final exam). Most students are very willing to help, so just ask around if you are struggling with a class! (This is in addition to professor office hours, drop-in tutoring, and review sessions available)

    Tips for prospective students

    You've probably heard this many times before, but know that college is VERY different from high school. I never really had to study in high school (even in AP courses), but once I got to college I realized that I actually had to put in some effort in order not to make mediocre grades. Don't let the ratio scare you off! For you girls and guys out there interested in RPI, please know it's not as bad as it looks on paper (usually)! Try to plan out your next four years early on to fit in any extra classes you want to take besides those required for your major (for example, fitting in a minor or dual major). Take AP classes/tests to get credit here! Especially AP Chem and AP Bio if your major only requires you to take the intro class to each! It's very, very useful to have those credits.

    In three sentences

    The ratio is definitely noticeable, but not a huge deal once you consider how many guys don't come out of their rooms to socialize. The courses are tough, so we work hard during the week (and a bit on the weekend), and then play hard on weekends. Ice hockey games are the best to watch with friends!!

  • 12/11/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

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    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are on-campus movies every Friday and Saturday. There are several parties each weekend - frats take turns throwing parties so they each have a decent amount of people at them. There is also a Playhouse, an improv group, several dance groups, and different musical performances throughout the semester. The bus can be taken to Crossgates Mall, and freshmen halls organize different trips including busses to NYC, or apple/pumpkin picking in the fall.

    Food and Dining

    Dining is not terrible, but Commons is not exceptional. Go to Sage when possible because they have omelets until 11 each morning. Also, use FLEX (on-campus money credits) at the McNeill Room, the cafés around campus, and at Moe's.

    Dorm Life

    While the dorms may not be luxurious, I was really close to all of my floor and hall mates from working in the lounge that was on my floor. We would all do homework together and also cram the night before large intro class exams. There is a whiteboard that was used to hold large review sessions together. There are decent programs put on for freshmen by different departments and the RA and LA. make sure to walk around your floor on the first day and introduce yourself.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes can be challenging, but they are survivable. Intro level classes are manageable, but do not underestimate professors putting material on tests that was only covered in the reading and not in lecture. As long as you go to lecture and take notes, classes are not that bad.

    Tips for prospective students

    Learn good study habits early on, and find people in your classes to work on assignments and study with. Also, do not be afraid to use ALAC (the tutoring service) because everyone here is smart, and the classes are challenging for everyone.

    In three sentences

    RPI is a great school for all STEM fields. The campus and community are not too big so getting anywhere on campus is not to far of a walk or a short shuttle ride away, and you will generally pass several people you know walking from class to class. Sitting right up the hill from downtown Troy, many nice restaurants, cafés, and a weekly farmers' market (my favorite!) are easily accessible for those even without a car.

  • 12/17/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

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    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    One of the best schools that has a truly interdisciplinary program for a mix between computer science and business.

  • 04/07/2014

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    60 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    They give a lot of good financial aid if you need it and you could always ask to change it or ask for more.

    What to do for fun

    There a lot of different events to participate in at the student union and they host different concerts and activities.

    Food and Dining

    There are dining halls to go in with multiple options, and most of the places are buffet style where you would swipe once from the meals on your meal plan then you could stay until it closes. But I understand as a student that would eat at these places often that you get tired of the food easily.

    Dorm Life

    As soon as you place you deposit you would take a questioner to help chose your dorm from a list of choices.

    Academic Rigor

    There are always teachers and TA's to help out when your stuck.

    In three sentences

    Rensselaer is perfect for my major as an architect. As a college they are working on diversifying the school with minorities and women. It helps and supports the students in the academic and financial level.

  • 06/13/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    61 of 61

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Studious, not too social

    Food and Dining

    Some dining halls are better than others. Steer clear of Commons

    Dorm Life

    RAs aren't the best but dorm life is about as good as you could expect.

    Academic Rigor

    Not for the faint of heart. Very challenging courses.