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High School Guidance Counselors
Here at Rensselaer, we know how important your role is in helping students find a college that is a perfect fit. Here is some information that may be helpful to you as you help your students navigate their college search and application process, and explore what Rensselaer has to offer!
If you would like to join our counselor mailing list, please click here.
Guidance Counselor Tours
Interested in visiting our campus? We are happy to be a part of two multi-college guidance counselor tours.
Upstate New York Counselor Tour
The Upstate Tour gives high school guidance counselors a chance to experience Rensselaer’s campus as well as the campuses of Ithaca College, RIT, Syracuse University, Union College, and the University of Rochester. Participants will enjoy a half-day visit at each school, with meals, lodging, and transportation provided during the tour (participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the tour).
The most recent tour was held April 30-May 4, 2017. Please visit unytcounselortour.org to be included on our list for future tours.
The Upstate New York International Counselor Tour (International Counselors only)
This tour is offered each summer following the IACAC Convention. In addition to Rensselaer, the tour includes stops at Colgate University, Hamilton College, Ithaca College, RIT, Skidmore College, Syracuse University, Union College, and the University of Rochester. Participants will enjoy a half-day visit at each school, with meals, lodging, and transportation provided during the tour (participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the tour).
The most recent tour was held July 15-20, 2017. For more information, or to be included on the list for future tours, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, come to campus anytime for a tour and information session.
Rensselaer Medal Program
The Rensselaer Medal is a scholarship opportunity worth $100,000 for outstanding math and science students.
For more than 100 years, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in conjunction with high schools around the world, has awarded the Rensselaer Medal to promising secondary school students who have distinguished themselves in mathematics and science. The Medal was first presented in 1916 with two purposes: to recognize the superlative academic achievement of young men and women, and to motivate students toward careers in science, engineering, and technology.
This merit scholarship, with a value of $25,000 per year, is guaranteed for four years (five years for the B.Arch. program) for each medalist who is accepted and enrolls at Rensselaer. The scholarship is also extended for students in our Co-Terminal program, which allows students to earn both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in five years.
Each spring, participating high schools are allowed to select one member of the junior class to be honored with the Rensselaer Medal Award. The responsibility for designating the Rensselaer Medalist belongs to faculty and staff within the secondary school. Once school officials have made their selection, they should submit their choice online via the password-protected medal website.
Once the selection is received at Rensselaer, an award certificate is mailed to the school for presentation at a school assembly. If the student applies, is accepted, and enrolls, the official Rensselaer Medallion will be presented during Honors Convocation in the fall of the first year at Rensselaer.
Academic Preparation and Admission Requirements
Rensselaer utilizes a holistic application review process, in which many different aspects of a student’s application play a role. Rensselaer requires at least three years of lab science, including biology, chemistry, and physics; four years of math at least through pre-calculus; three years of social science and/or history; and four years of English. Please note that the most competitive applicants will have completed calculus or above during their senior year.
In general, we are looking for students to earn A’s and B’s in a challenging curriculum. We prefer to see students taking the more challenging courses available to them (AP, IB, honors, etc.), particularly in math and science.
Rensselaer requires one letter of recommendation, which we prefer to come from a math or science teacher. If you are able to submit a letter on your student’s behalf, you are welcome to submit it, in addition to the teacher letter.
Rensselaer accepts three applications: the Common Application, the Universal College Application, and the Candidate's Choice Application. We do not have a preference for one over another, so your students should use whichever application is most convenient for them.
Important note for students using the Candidate’s Choice Application: Any credentials submitted through Naviance will only be received by Rensselaer if the applicant has submitted the Common Application.
If you have students applying either Early Decision I or Early Decision II, please be sure to send us their first-term/first quarter grades as soon as they become available. We also highly recommend that you send mid-year reports for all regular decision students as soon as they become available.
For more information on application requirements:
A Rensselaer education, through our innovative pedagogy, global, challenge-linked research, and a transformative student experience, positions our graduates to truly change the world.
To expand access to the Rensselaer transformational experience, we are instituting a spring admission program. Because the Institute receives record numbers of applications each year, a spring admission provides a unique pathway for a select group of outstanding and mature students to study at our world-class technological research university.
Students enrolling in January are expected to use the summer and fall semesters before matriculation to pursue a wide range of interests, including taking courses at other colleges, or engaging in internships, volunteer work, outdoor exploration, or paid employment.
CLASS (Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students), the Rensselaer learning and living environment, will ensure that they not only thrive and are supported here, but will ensure that they become an integral part of a strong community of learners, as they share their experiences with fellow students and create their own pathways to success.
We expect the majority of the students entering in January to graduate with their class in May of the senior year. Rensselaer will offer second semester freshmen courses for many majors in the summer. In addition, students can take classes elsewhere before enrolling at Rensselaer, obtaining AP/IB credit from high school, taking summer courses before enrolling or in subsequent summers, or some combination of these options.
Applying for Spring Admission
For students who wish to apply specifically for a spring term start, the annual application deadline is November 1.
Rensselaer has a wide range of aid options including grants, scholarships, loans, and work programs to assist in making a Rensselaer education possible. The financial aid staff is ready to assist your students in developing a plan that will suit their individual situation.
All U.S. citizens and permanent residents who apply for admission are considered for merit-based scholarships. To be considered for need-based aid, both the CSS Profile and the FAFSA must be submitted. The priority filing date for both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile (for students applying Regular Decision) is February 1st.
Please note that there are no financial aid opportunities available to international students outside of the Rensselaer Medal.
School Visits and College Fairs
Each year, our staff travels extensively across the country and around the world to speak with prospective students.
If you are interested in having a member of our staff attend your college fair, please contact Janice Naylor at email@example.com.
If you are interested in having one of our admissions counselors visit your school, or you would like to speak with the counselor in charge of your region, you may view our staff listing here.
If you have general questions, please feel free to contact us at 518-276-6216 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs for High School Students
Summer @ Rensselaer
Rensselaer offers many summer programs for middle school and high school students, allowing them to explore an area of interest in a fun and challenging setting. For more information, visit the Summer @ Rensselaer website.
High-school students interested in taking a summer course at Rensselaer (including students who have received a Center for Talented Youth [CTY] Scholarship) should visit our non-matriculated student admission website for information on how to apply.
The STAR Program
Academically talented, underrepresented minorities and young women are invited to apply for the STAR (Science, Technology, Arts at Rensselaer) program at Rensselaer. Students are able to experience life as a Rensselaer studentattend classes, tour campus, visit our laboratories and facilities, and socialize with current Rensselaer students. This event is held in conjunction with the fall admissions open house.
The PREFACE Summer Program
The Rensselaer PREFACE Program is a two-week residential summer experience for talented high school sophomores and juniors, who will enter 11th or 12th grade in the fall of the coming year and who have expressed a strong, early interest in pursuing a career in the engineering and technological professions. It is for high school students from groups that have been historically and traditionally underrepresented or underserved in science, engineering, and technological fields.
Participation in the PREFACE Summer Program provides the student participants with extraordinary opportunities:
Black Family Technology Awareness Day
Black Family Technology Awareness Day is a great opportunity for young people and their families to get a taste of the excitement and possibilities of careers in science, technology, and engineering fields. There are workshops led by Rensselaer professors, students, alumni, and community organizations. The event is held each year in late winter, and is free and open to the public.
Design Your Future Day
Each spring, Design Your Future Day brings eleventh grade high school girls with an interest and aptitude in math and science to Rensselaer for an exciting day of hands-on exploration in engineering, science, and technology. Through fun, dynamic and interactive sessions, this day is designed to spark interest in high-tech fields and to provide encouragement for young women to pursue technical careers.
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