FAQs for Accepted Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to Rensselaer! You should feel proud of all that you have accomplished in your academic journey thus far. We are providing these FAQs to help students, counselors, family members, and others better understand next steps for your enrollment. Our goal in providing this information is to eliminate misunderstandings that have historically resulted in the cancellation of admission offers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many aspects of daily life, we know you have made significant adjustments during these challenging times. We want to reassure you that we understand these challenges and are here to support you through the college process. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to us at admissions@rpi.edu or finaid@rpi.edu.

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General

Is RPI currently open for on-campus visits?

We are currently offering in-person campus tours!

To ensure the continued health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, all visitors will be required to follow the COVID-19 Visit Policy found above and on the tour registration page.

In the meantime, check out our Virtual Tour of campus. Also, join our admissions team and student ambassadors for a virtual Information Session and a chance to have your questions answered. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to stay connected with the Office of Admission.

How do I know what major I was accepted to?

Unless otherwise noted (in the case of some Physician-Scientist Program applicants), you were accepted to the major that you indicated on your application. This major may be found in the top right-hand side of your application portal.

If you wish to change this major, please complete the "Change in Major Form" found on your application portal. The link may be found on the far right-hand side of your portal page, under “Helpful Links”. Our operations staff will review your request, and be in touch through email once the change is reviewed.

Please note that while many of our students do pursue minors and/or dual degrees, students typically begin their time at RPI with only one major. For more information, please see " Who do I contact if I'm interested in a minor or dual major? " below.

What do I do if I want to change my major?

If you wish to change your major (prior to enrolling), please complete the "Change in Major Form" found on your application portal. The link may be found on the far right-hand side of your portal page, under “Helpful Links”. Our operations staff will review your request, and be in touch through email once the change is reviewed.

Please note that while many of our students do pursue minors and/or dual degrees, students typically begin their time at RPI with only one major. For more information, please see " Who do I contact if I'm interested in a minor or dual major? " below.

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Enrollment Timeline

When do I need to submit my enrollment deposit?

Early Decision I: Deposits due January 15, 2023

Early Decision II: Deposits due February 15, 2023

Early Action: Deposits due May 1, 2023

Accelerated Medical Program: Deposits due May 1, 2023

Regular Decision: Deposits due May 1, 2023

How do I pay my enrollment deposit?

Please navigate to your application portal to electronically pay your deposit. You may also send a check to the address below. If sending a check, please be sure to indicate your Rensselaer ID Number (RIN) in the subject line. If your family is using 529 College Education Savings Fund to pay your enrollment deposit, please be sure to email adm_updates@rpi.edu once the check is submitted so we can be sure the payment is processed correctly to your file.

Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, NY 12180

Is it possible to defer my enrollment/take a gap year?

We do allow students to defer their start at Rensselaer for one or two semesters. Please note that we only defer enrollment, not admission, so you will need to place your $500 enrollment deposit before your defer request will be reviewed. 

Students who wish to defer their enrollment may take courses on a non-matriculated basis at another institution. If you matriculate elsewhere, or take 12 or more transferrable credits, you will need to re-apply as a transfer student.

It is recommended that students studying the following majors NOT request a deferral to the spring semester due to the layout of the course curriculum:

  • Architecture
  • Design, Innovation, and Society
  • Electronic Arts
  • Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences
  • Music

Please email us at admissions@rpi.edu with any questions about our deferral policy. Once you have submitted your enrollment deposit, you may formally request to defer by completing this form.

Can my admission be rescinded for conduct reasons?

Yes. Your admission may be rescinded by Rensselaer prior to the start of classes if your conduct is inconsistent with positive contributions to the campus environment, such as engaging in violence or threats, or creating a risk to campus or community safety.

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Financial Aid

I applied for financial aid. Where can I view my offer?

Once finalized by the Office of Financial Aid, financial aid packages will be posted on the student’s application status portal. Any questions regarding financial aid or financial aid packages should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid by emailing finaid@rpi.edu

If you are expecting a financial aid package but have not yet received it, please review the following:

  • For need-based aid, we require BOTH the CSS Profile and FAFSA to be filed. If you are missing one or both, your aid package may be delayed.
  • If you filed your forms after the priority filing deadline, your aid package may be delayed.
  • Please be sure to be checking your email regularly in case the Office of Financial Aid reaches out for any additional information or clarification.
Is the merit aid I recieved just for the first year, or all four years?

Our merit-based aid awards (including the Rensselaer Leadership Award and the Rensselaer Medal Award) are guaranteed for each undergraduate academic year up to four years (five years for students in our Bachelor of Architecture program). Merit-based aid would also carry over for a fifth year if you decide to pursue our Co-Terminal Program. There are no GPA requirements for maintaining your merit-based aid.

You will find more extensive information about your financial aid award within your RPI admissions portal (please note, the aid award PDF found in your portal is a multiple page document - be sure to scroll through to view additional information about your award).

How do I confirm my financial aid?

If you will be enrolling at Rensselaer, you should review and accept your financial aid award in the Rensselaer Self-Service Information System (SIS). Please note: you will NOT have access to the SIS until you submit your enrollment deposit. Once you have submitted your deposit, you should have access to the system within a few days*.

For further questions regarding this process, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@rpi.edu.

*Access typically begins for confirmed students after May 1

What if my family's financial circumstances have changed?

We realize that unusual circumstances can occur after the aid applications are submitted or after the initial aid package has been offered. We have established an Appeals Committee to help facilitate review of change of circumstance requests. If there is a change in your family’s financial situation after you complete and submit your FAFSA/CSS Profile, please write directly to the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@rpi.edu, or fax your request to 518-276-4797.

What if I received my financial aid package and still need more aid to make it possible to attend Rensselaer?

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will review financial aid appeals. Please email the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@rpi.edu and include anything that you would like taken into consideration, including any substantial costs that may not be reflected on your FAFSA form or CSS profile, award letters from other schools, and an amount that would make it feasible to attend Rensselaer. Appeals Form

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Conditional Admits

What is a Conditional Admission to Rensselaer and why did I receive it?

Students who are most competitive in the application process will have taken pre-calculus, biology, chemistry, and a lab-based physics class. We review all of the applications holistically and understand that all students may not have the opportunity to take all of these classes. If you are competitive within the applicant pool and we felt you needed to take one of those classes to be successful at Rensselaer, you could have been offered a conditional acceptance stating that you would have to take that class before you start at RPI. There may be other reasons we would offer a conditonal admission, and the condition will be clearly stated in your acceptance letter.

How will I complete my condition?

You can satisfy your condition by taking the required class before you start your classes at Rensselaer. You will need to send the official transcript to the Rensselaer Admissions Office before the start of the fall semester to satisfy your condition. 

Students have satisfied their condition by taking the class in-person through their local high school, community college or four-year college, or through an online school such as Brigham Young University or Keystone High School (see suggestions below).

I cannot fit the required course into my spring schedule. What do I do?

Since the course needs to be completed before you enroll at Rensselaer in the fall, you have some options for when/how to complete the course. In the past, students have completed online courses that are self-paced; other students have completed courses at local community colleges or summer school programs. If you need any guidance or want to ensure a certain course will meet the requirement, please feel free to reach out to us at admissions@rpi.edu. We are here to help, and our goal is to make sure you are as prepared as possible to tackle your time at Rensselaer!

What happens if I do not satisfy my condition?

Students who are offered conditional admission are required to meet the condition before starting their classes at Rensselaer. If you do not complete your condition, you will not be able to enroll at Rensselaer. 

If you have been conditionally admitted to Rensselaer and have concerns about being able to fulfill your condition due to the current COVID-19 situation, please email us at admissions@rpi.edu. We can help direct you to some online options for courses - we will be as flexible as possible while still ensuring you will be fully prepared for your work at Rensselaer.

Conditional Admission - Online Course Options

For reference, below are a few online courses that would fulfill the requirement.*

Pre-Calculus & Chemistry

Lab-based Physics

*Please Note: We have no connection to the programs listed above, nor preference as to where the actual course is taken.

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Next Steps

Will I receive credit for my AP/IB/dual enrollment courses?

Please review our advanced standing policy. Please note that official AP or IB test scores must be sent to the Registrar's Office.

Who do I contact if I'm interested in a minor or dual major?

We are often asked if it’s possible to dual major, or major and minor, or creatively combine two areas of study across our undergraduate colleges. For instance, is it possible to study both science and music, engineering and business, or math and computer science? The answer is almost always yes.

If you are interested in applying for a minor or second major, we recommend letting your academic advisor know when they first reach out to you over the summer. Every school at Rensselaer handles these programs slightly differently, and your advisor will be able to guide you through the process of scheduling classes to fulfill your programs' requirement. With the exception of dual majors in HASS (see below), most dual majors may not be added until after the student's first semester.

Dual Majors in HASS

Adding a dual major can be a great way to diversify your academic experience, increase your intellectual versatility, and pursue interests in multiple fields. Most programs in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) are dual-major friendly, which means that you may be able to apply some of your required HASS courses toward a dual major in a HASS field. 

Incoming students may add a dual major in any of the following programs as early as the summer before they enter RPI:

  • Biotechnology and Health Economics
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication, Media, and Design
  • Design, Innovation, and Society*
  • Economics
  • Electronic Arts*
  • Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences*
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Psychological Science
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Sustainability Studies

* Students are required to submit a portfolio of work to be considered for entry into the DIS, Electronic Arts, and GSAS programs. HASS Student Services can provide additional information about the portfolio requirements.

Students who are interested in adding a dual major in one of these programs should contact HASS Student Services by sending an email to hassinfo@rpi.edu or by scheduling an appointment.

HASS Student Services can help you decide if adding a dual major is for you, answer any questions that you may have, and explain the process for getting approval to add a dual major.

Is there any information yet on housing for Fall 2023?

The most up-to-date information may be found on the Student Living and Learning website. Please note, specific information may not yet be available, but will be provided over the course of the spring.

When should I plan to move in for the fall semester?

Move-in will likely take place the week of August 21. Specific dates will vary and may be found on the Student Orientation Website. Classes begin on August 28.

I have special dietary needs. Who can I speak to?

Dining Services at Rensselaer takes great pride in serving the needs of all of our students. We meet one-on-one with any student with individual dining needs to ensure their dining experience is safe, delicious, and social. For more information or to contact our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, visit the Dining Services website.

Important Enrollment Dates & Deadlines

*The dates noted with an asterisk are the 2022 dates for reference only; 2023 dates will be posted as soon as they are available.

Housing Application Due: May 20*

Submit Official Test Scores: June 1 (if applicable)

Laptop Order Due: June 4 (coming soon)*

Complete Health Center Requirements: June 18*

Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond (NRB) Sign-Up: June 30 (opens around June 6)*

Submit Final High School Transcript: July 31

Classes Begin: August 28

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Official Transcripts & Test Score Verification

How can I send official test scores if I only self-reported scores during the application process?

If you did not submit official results from the SAT/ACT during the application process, we will need them sent directly from the testing agency by June 1. If you submitted official test score results during the application process, this will be noted on your admissions portal. Please note: We will need official scores from all ACT and SAT tests that you self-reported on the application (i.e., so if you reported both an SAT and ACT, we will need both official scores).

How do I request my official test scores?

The official test scores should be requested from CollegeBoard or the ACT and sent to the Rensselaer Admissions Office. These should be submitted by June 1. 

What do you mean by "official” transcript?

An official transcript is one that we receive directly from the institution in a sealed envelope or electronically with appropriate identifying information and authorized signature. If you received a GED or other equivalency, an official copy of the results is required. Official high school transcripts should include date of graduation and all final term grades.

We recognize that school transcripts will vary for many students this year, and we will work with what your school provides! We encourage you to engage with whatever model of teaching your school is currently adopting, and to do so to the best of your ability. Please note that on your final high school transcript, we do need to see an actual date of graduation.

How do I send my official final high school transcript to Rensselaer?

Final high school transcripts must be submitted directly by the student’s high school to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Final high school transcripts must be official and include the student’s date of graduation. Transcripts may be submitted electronically by your school (through services such as Naviance) or emailed (adm_updates@rpi.edu). This should be submitted by July 31. 

Transcripts may also be submitted by mail to Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, NY 12180.

Do I need to submit a college transcript for a college course that shows on my high school transcript?

Yes - only if you want the course(s) to be considered for credit at RPI. In that case, an official transcript and copy of the course descriptions must be sent to the Office of the Registrar (registrar@rpi.edu). The Registrar will have courses evaluated by the appropriate departments on campus. 

What will happen if I do not submit my final transcript or official test scores?

Students who do not submit either their final high school transcript and/or their official test scores (if applicable) will have a hold placed on their student account which will prevent them from registering for spring semester courses.

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COVID-19 Related Questions

Are incoming students required to be vaccinated for COVID19?

Yes. All students are required to be fully vaccinated, unless granted exception by the Rensselaer Health Center for valid medical reasons. Full Vaccination is currently defined as the initial vaccination series plus a booster.

COVID-19 Policy Website

    My course grades have changed to pass/fail. How will this affect the review of my final transcript?

    We understand and support the move to pass/fail grading options that many schools and colleges have adopted as a valid COVID-19 accommodation. As such, we will be accepting pass/fail results in the normal review of transcripts during this time.

    Will my AP/IB credits from 2020 and 2021 still transfer in?

    The AP/IB Credit Transfer Policy has not changed due to the current circumstances. You will be able to transfer in a maximum of 20 AP/IB credits as an entering first year student. We will accept scores from the Spring 2020 online AP exam testing structure as outlined by the College Board, and we will take the calculated IB scores from the Spring 2020 exams.

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    International Students

    When will I receive my I-20?

    We will begin to process I-20s in mid-late May for students who have submitted their enrollment deposit. Please note we will begin processing documents for students who deferred enrollment from last year, or were admitted Early Decision and Early Decision II first, and then will continue with students who were admitted Early Action and Regular Decision. If we need any additional documentation to process your I-20, we will contact you.

    We are now processing I-20s electronically. Once your I-20 is processed, we will upload the document to your application portal. You will receive an email prompting you to log into your application portal to download and print your I-20. The email also contains a link to information from our ISSS Office.

    Please upload a copy of your passport to your online application portal if you have not done so already.

    If you do not hear from our office by mid-June concerning your I-20, please feel free to reach out to us at admissions@rpi.edu.

    What will happen if classes are in-person in the fall and I cannot physically get there?

    Currently, we are proceeding as normal with regard to the Fall 2023 semester. We will be issuing I-20s for a Fall 2023 start.

    We continue to adjust and re-evaluate as we navigate these unprecedented times. We will be sure to alert students with regard to any announcements or changes moving forward.

    What if I am not able to get vaccinated in my home country before arriving on campus?

    International students will be able to get vaccinated once they arrive, and Rensselaer will assist them in doing so (either by vaccinating them on-campus, or by helping them secure an appointment at a nearby vaccination site).