Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 72.71

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has an active campus life and a vast slate of majors. Although renowned for its science, engineering and mathematics programs, the college has focused on expanding its humanities, arts and communication departments in recent years. RPI's unique combined Electronic Media, Arts and Communication (EMAC) program offers, among others, a concentration in digital storytelling that encompasses animation, video and game design. RPI is also known for its co-op programs, which offer six- to eight-month periods of full-time, paid work experiences related to a student’s major. The real world training helps graduates hit the ground running when they enter the working world: Median early career earnings top $93,000, according to the College Scorecard. While most of the school's 21 sports teams compete at the Division III level, both the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams are Division I. There's a definite emphasis on academics and a fair amount of academic competition – many students choose to double major. Still, RPI has over 200 student-run organizations, and more than 80% of students play sports. Located in Troy, just a mile from the Hudson River, the college offers students ample opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of upstate New York. Looking for another way to unwind? The campus is also home to the Clubhouse Pub, where people of legal drinking age can enjoy beer, wings, pizza and hot subs.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$77,900
% of students who get any grants
87%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$42,900
Average price for low-income students
$22,880

Admissions

Acceptance rate
47%
Median SAT/ACT score
1390/NA
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
6,200

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
18%
% of students who get merit grants
30%
Average merit grant
$23,110

Student Success

Graduation rate
86%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Median student debt
$24,194
Early career earnings
$93,420
% earning more than a high school grad
90%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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