Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Skip to main content

Fall 2021 Admission Cycle Test-Optional FAQ

Due to the recent suspension of SAT and ACT testing, any student who applies to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an undergraduate in the fall of 2021 or the spring of 2022 will be able to choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores. This is a temporary suspension of our standardized testing requirement, and it will be re-evaluated for the fall 2022 application cycle. To help provide information during this uncertain time, we have provided the answers to frequently asked questions about our test optional policy below. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to us at admissions@rpi.edu or finaid@rpi.edu

Accordion

TEST-OPTIONAL FAQS

How do I apply test-optional to Rensselaer?

Students interested in applying test-optional may do so by choosing the corresponding dropdown option on the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Candidate’s Choice Application.

Is it possible to apply Early Decision or Early Action as test-optional?

Yes! Learn more about our various decision types and deadlines and choose which is best for you here.

Please note, that students interested in applying to the Physician-Scientist Program (B.S./M.D.) should carefully review Albany Medical College's policy regarding applying test-optional for the Fall 2021 cycle.

I am applying for the Physician-Scientist (B.S./M.D.) Program. Do I need to submit test scores?

Students interested in applying to the Physician-Scientist Program (B.S./M.D.) should carefully review Albany Medical College's policy regarding applying test-optional for the Fall 2021 cycle:

If you have taken the SAT or ACT, you must have your official scores sent at the time of application. If, this year, due to COVID-19 and issues with testing availability, you have not been able to take either exam, your application may still be forwarded to AMC for consideration. Albany Medical College will still review the application, and a decision will be based on the review of your supplemental application and additional submitted materials.

Can I still be accepted without sending test scores? If so, will not sending test scores lower my chances of being admitted?

Applying “test-optional” means that you can be accepted without ultimately submitting test scores, and not submitting test scores does not lower your chances of admission at Rensselaer. Because applying test-optional is your choice, your application is your opportunity to shine the best light on yourself. For some students, this may mean including test scores. For others, this may mean choosing to not submit your scores. If you feel that your scores will strengthen your application, you should submit them.

Will there be a difference in the possibility of merit-based aid for students that apply with test scores vs. test optional?

There is no difference in the possibility of merit-based aid based on whether or not you submit standardized test scores; Rensselaer does not use test scores to determine student eligibility for merit aid.

If I take the SAT or ACT in the spring, can those exam scores be considered as part of my application?

Rensselaer will accept scores for any test taken prior to January 31, 2021. Tests taken after this deadline may not receive full consideration in the process. If you intend to take a test in January, please be sure to note that on your application, or email us at adm_updates@rpi.edu so we have that information in your file.

How will my application be evaluated if I choose not to submit standardized test scores?

Rensselaer reviews applications holistically. We will consider your transcript, extracurricular and leadership activities, recommendation letters, and essay.

What is your holistic review process like?

In our holistic review process, our goal is to ensure that you are evaluated as a whole student, instead of simply numbers on a page. To do this, we look at a number of factors, including your transcript and academic performance, your extracurricular and leadership involvement, your recommendation letter(s), your essay, your test scores (if you choose to submit them). For some majors, we may also require a creative portfolio.

Once I submit my application, can I change my mind as to whether I want you to consider my test scores?

Depending on when you submit your application and which application option you select, you may be able to change your mind as to whether you'd like us to consider your test scores.

Early Decision I/II and Early Action applicants: You may request to make a change up until November 1 by emailing adm_updates@rpi.edu with your name and Rensselaer ID Number (RIN).

Regular Decision Applicants: You may request to make a change up until January 1 by emailing adm_updates@rpi.edu with your name and Rensselaer ID Number (RIN).