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Freshman Applications Surge Past 14,500

It’s official. A record total of 14,529 high school students have filed applications to attend Rensselaer this fall, according to numbers released by the Rensselaer Office of Admissions. This year’s total represents a growth of more than 8 percent since last year at this time, and a 163 percent increase 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.”

The 2011 applicant pool also represents a continued expansion of the national and international profile of the student body, as well as a significant increase in applications from women, underrepresented students of color, and Rensselaer Medalists, a scholarship awarded to the top math and science students at almost 3,000 high schools around the world.

According to Rensselaer’s Office of Admissions, this year’s overall increase in applications was also driven by greater numbers of students visiting campus, a higher conversion rate from the inquiry to the application stage, and new student life programs designed to enhance the overall educational experience.

Launched in fall 2010, the Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS) Initiative aims to transform the student experience by elevating the quality of support for students throughout the undergraduate years. Clusters of residence halls have been developed to create smaller, more tightly knit student communities integrating academic and student life experiences from a residentially based perspective. Additionally, time-based support has been implemented through the hiring of Class Deans, specific to each rising class of students, who provide guidance based on students’ progress through Rensselaer.

Rensselaer also has seen significant growth in the number of prospective students who are interested in new areas of the expanding curriculum, beyond the Institute’s tradition of strong applicant growth in engineering.

For example, Marthers noted that applications to each of the five schools are up, especially for the Lally School of Management and Technology.

“The rise in Lally School applications seems to be the result of stronger and wider promotion of Lally’s strengths, which are focused on developing aspiring business leaders who have a passion for technology with the ability to work across business functions,” Marthers said. “Overall, it is clear that greater numbers of students value the high-quality academic and co-curricular programs that we offer.”

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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 4, March 18, 2011
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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