Meet the Class of 2016!
The incoming Class of 2016 at Rensselaer promises to be an exceptional group, with an increase in average SAT scores, and more than 100 receiving a perfect 800 SAT critical reading or math score. In addition, three students scored 1,600, and two students received a perfect 2,400. Sixty-six percent of the students are coming from the top 10 percent of their high school classes. The incoming class represents the next generation of leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, humanitarians, and innovators, in fields ranging from engineering to architecture, from fine arts to science, and from management to information technology.
The incoming class comprises 1,339 new students, in addition to a total of 130 transfer students from various institutions. This high-achieving group also includes 371 women, representing 28 percent of the class, a record or near record of underrepresented students representing 13 percent of the class, and continued geographic and international diversity.
This year, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions received a record total of 15,223 freshman applications. The number represents a growth of more than 4 percent over last year.
“For seven consecutive years, Rensselaer has set records for freshman applications. Since 2005, applications have grown by 173 percent,” said Paul Marthers, vice president for enrollment and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions. “It is exciting to see that our outreach efforts have translated into unprecedented levels of popularity exemplified by the record number of applications, and academic quality as evidenced by the credentials of the new freshmen.”
“More than ever before, we are reaching excellent students from all around the globe,” Marthers added. “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 rising application and student quality trends have run parallel with the exciting transformation that has occurred at Rensselaer over the last decade.”
According to the Office of Admissions, this year’s 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, including the Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students residential college model designed to enhance the overall student and educational experience.
Of special note, the Class of 2016 includes three students who have developed iPhone apps that are now available from the App Store, a student who founded a startup, Pixel Corporation, and currently has patents and designs regarding tactile touch screen technology, as well as one student who was offered an advertising partnership with YouTube after developing his personal YouTube Channel.
Members of the incoming class also include students who have carved out time to help others. For example, one student traveled to China to work with disabled orphans in Beijing. Another student founded an organization called Caps4Cancer to raise money to donate wigs and bandannas to local hospitals for cancer patients, and one student serves as the chief financial officer for a nonprofit organization that is focused on raising funds for Ugandan refugees.
The class also includes 91 legacies, or students who are related to Rensselaer alumni. “This is a wonderful message about the Rensselaer education and the impact it has on alumni long after they’ve graduated from Rensselaer,” said Karen Long, director of undergraduate admissions. “The number of students following in the footsteps of family members demonstrates the longstanding connection Rensselaer makes with graduates to educate men and women who are the leaders of tomorrow.”