The Class of 2017 is the largest freshman class ever to join Rensselaer, with 1,424 new students, and also represents the highest caliber of students ever admitted.

With the school year well underway, Rensselaer continues to celebrate the largest and strongest incoming freshman class in the university’s 189-year history. The demand for a Rensselaer education is higher than ever before, as top-tier high school students from around the world seek out, apply to, and ultimately choose to attend the nation’s first technological research university.

The Class of 2017 is the largest freshman class ever to join Rensselaer, with 1,424 new students. This culturally and geographically diverse group also represents the highest caliber of students ever admitted to Rensselaer, with more than 70 percent entering from the top 10 percent of their high school classes. Seventy students were the valedictorian or salutatorian of their high school, and many were actively involved in volunteer activities, civic leadership, entrepreneurial endeavors, research, athletics, and the arts.

The average SAT score for the Class of 2017 was 1376, up 10 points from the previous year, while nearly 150 freshmen scored a perfect 800 on the SAT critical reading, math, or writing sections. Specifically, within certain majors, Rensselaer freshmen had the following notable average SAT scores:

  • Science, Technology, and Society  1410
  • Electrical Engineering: 1409
  • Materials Engineering: 1406
  • Applied Physics: 1441
  • Biochemistry and Biophysics: 1405
  • Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology: 1413
  • Computer Science: 1409
  • Mathematics: 1405
  • Undeclared: 1447

The Class of 2017 was selected from among the total of 16,150 freshman applications submitted to Rensselaer in the most recent admissions cycle. It marks the 8th consecutive year the Institute has set a record for freshman applications. Applications this year also included significant increases in the number of applications from women, underrepresented minorities, international students, and Rensselaer “legacies”—students with relatives who attended the university.

The Office of Admissions attributes this increase in applications to the Institute’s growing global reputation for academic excellence, world-class research, and alumni/ae success, as well as the continued success of CLASS—Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students—which provides support and co-curricular opportunities for students, enhancing the overall student experience.