Photo by Paul Castle

Today's Rensselaer students stand on big shoulders. Those who went before them quite simply defined and accomplished the technological agendas of the 19th and 20th centuries. Their achievements in science and technology—the magnificent bridges engineered in the 19th century, 20th-century innovations like the television and the microprocessor and Project Apollo—truly changed the world.

Expectations, then, are high for today's students.

Four years at Rensselaer prepare students to make a difference in the world. But getting to that point, for many, is a financial challenge. A Rensselaer education is expensive; it has to be. The Institute's research facilities and information resources must be state-of-the-art, the faculty world-class, the support systems extensive and well staffed. Many students can excel in this environment, but few can afford to pay the full annual cost of $36,000.

More than 85 percent of Rensselaer students receive some form of financial aid, and scholarship support is often a key component of that aid. There are more than 220 endowed scholarships at Rensselaer, providing more than 450 students with scholarship support each year, and representing $2 million invested in their future. The Patroon Scholars program of the Rensselaer Annual Fund supports an additional 61 students this year, representing $305,000 in tuition assistance on an annual basis.

On Dec. 1, Russell Sage Dining Hall filled with more than 100 people, as sponsors and recipients of endowed and Patroon scholarships gathered to meet—many for the first time. Over lunch, they had a chance to make connections or to renew old ties. Several alumni traveled long distances to have the opportunity to meet with their scholarship recipients.

"These students are our precious legacy—our raison d'etre—and it is thanks to your support of scholarship that we can provide them with the resources they so deserve," said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. "There is no finer way to support Rensselaer students."

Scholarship support is a gift from one generation to the next. "I am really unsure of what to say, only because no words could express my thanks to you for your gift," wrote one student in a letter of thanks. "What you've given me is more than just money, it is the gift of a first-rate education that I could not otherwise have been given."

If you would like to learn more about scholarship opportunities, contact Lynn Hopwood at (518) 276-8545 or


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