Inside Rensselaer
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Focus on: Student Orientation
The incoming Class of 2012 promises to be an exceptional group, with an increase in average SAT scores and more than 65 percent of the students coming from the top 10 percent of their high school classes. The high-achieving group also includes nearly 400 women — the largest number of females enrolled in the last three years — and a significant increase in the national and international profile of the student body. The class includes more than 160 underrepresented minority students — nearly 12 percent of the class — 152 legacies (students who are related to Rensselaer alumni), and those interested in new areas of Rensselaer’s expanding curriculum.

Competition was tight for the more than 1,300 spots in the incoming class, with more than 11,200 students filing applications this year. This record number is a more than 10 percent increase over the previous year and represents a growth of 100 percent since 2005.

“Our freshman class adds to the rich tapestry that has been a hallmark of Rensselaer’s 184-year history,” said James Nondorf, vice president for enrollment and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions and financial aid. “The Rensselaer community embraces the talent, achievements, curiosity, and imagination of our incoming class, and all of us will benefit from the energy that they will bring to campus.”

Throughout the month of July and early August, the first-year students and their family members have attended a series of two-day Student Orientation programs held on Rensselaer’s campus. The program, developed by Rensselaer’s Office of the First-Year Experience (FYE), includes general orientation information, advisement, registration, and an introduction to Rensselaer’s computing system. It also provides students and their families with an opportunity to learn more about Rensselaer and meet and talk with other students, parents, faculty, and members representing various student life divisions.

“Starting classes, meeting peers, and exploring a new geographical area all at once can seem intimidating for many new college students,” says Lisa Trahan, dean of the first-year experience and interim dean of residence life. “The first-year experience at Rensselaer begins prior to the student’s arrival on campus and continues throughout the first year. Cross-campus collaborations make this possible as we introduce students to the campus, its resources, and beyond — creating the springboard to help them excel and succeed.”

Rensselaer will officially welcome members of the Class of 2012 in a few weeks. The first-year students will begin a week-long program of welcoming events and team-building adventures, known as “Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond,” Aug. 19-24. 
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Send comments to:
Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 12, August 8, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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