Inside Rensselaer
* Rensselaer Welcomes Members  of the Class of 2015

Approximately 1,200 students took part in one of several Student Orientation sessions on campus this summer.

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Rensselaer Welcomes Members of the Class of 2015

The incoming Class of 2015 at Rensselaer promises to be an exceptional group, with an increase in average SAT scores, and nearly 63 percent of the students coming from the top 10 percent of their high school classes. The incoming class represents the next generation of leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators, in fields ranging from engineering to architecture, from fine arts to science, and from management to information technology.

The class comprises nearly 1,192 students, including a total of 120 transfer students from various institutions. The high-achieving group also includes 380 women, and diversity in the national and international profile of the student body. More than 11 percent of the class is comprised of underrepresented minority students.

This year, the Office of Enrollment Management received 14,583 freshman applications. The record total represents a growth of nearly 8 percent since last year. Applications have set records every year, and increased 163 percent since 2005.

“Rensselaer has continued to attract unprecedented levels of student interest this year,” said Paul Marthers, vice president for enrollment and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions.

“In other words, we are reaching more excellent students around the globe.”

Nearly 29 percent of the students are from areas outside of the Northeast. The first-year students hail from 43 states, in addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from countries all around the world, reinforcing the belief at Rensselaer that a university must have global reach in order to have global impact.

“The rising application and student quality trends have run parallel with the exciting transformation that has occurred at Rensselaer over the last decade,” Marthers said. “The freshman class is comprised of very bright students with a special interest in discovery, innovation, and interdisciplinary study in architecture, science, technology, management, and the intersection of technology with the humanities, arts, and social sciences.”

The Class of 2015 includes students who are focused on reaching new heights through their accomplishments — there are 75 students who were valedictorians or salutatorians of their high school, and many were actively involved in music, science, research, and the arts. In addition, more than 480 students participated in sporting activities while in high school, with 46 students serving as captains of their school’s athletic team. Overall, members of the class come to Rensselaer having demonstrated extracurricular achievement, leadership, and support for civic engagement in various roles including: sports captains and class presidents, Eagle Scouts, and Girl Scout Gold Award winners, among others.

Of special note, the class also includes a student who was invited to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration, as well as a student who played the flute in a high school band that participated in the inaugural parade; a student who can solve the Rubik’s Cube in 15 seconds; a student who won the Harvard University Pi contest by reciting Pi to the 387th place while in fifth grade; a student who is a two-time national Origami finalist; and a student who is writing a novel based on travels to Africa.

Members of the incoming class also include students with strong musical interests. For example, there is a student who had the opportunity to play with Tom “Bones” Malone, a musician from the Blues Brothers Band and the house band for the Late Show with David Letterman; a student who was a backup singer and glockenspiel player for OK Go at YouTube Live at the Guggenheim Museum; a student who wrote an original music score for his high school production of Macbeth; as well as a student who auditioned for American Idol.

This year, 188 students are recipients of the Rensselaer Medal. The class also includes 89 legacies (students who are related to Rensselaer alumni).

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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 12, August 26, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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