Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

I attended an RIT breakfast for counselors hosted by Ashley Hennigan, Assistant Director Undergraduate Admissions today.  Here are some highlights.

What kind of student likes RIT?

A student focused on a career, who likes a larger school, and would like a co-op experience would be happy at RIT, if they don’t mind cold weather and a predominantly male student body.

RIT Basics:

RIT has about 15,000 undergraduates, out of a total student body of 18,000. These include 1300 deaf and hard of hearing students. About two thirds of RIT students are male.
RIT is the 11th largest private university in the US.  It is the second largest in computing, and third largest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

RIT offers 90 majors in 9 colleges including colleges of applied science and technology; business; computing and information sciences; engineering; health sciences and technology; imaging arts and sciences; liberal arts; National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID); and the college of science.

There are 35 accelerated dual degree programs (Bachelors and Masters) .

The average class size is 25 with 90% of classes having less than 50 students. Students start taking classes in their likely major in their Freshman year. They declare their major at the end of the first year. Students have real-life experiences in their majors.

RIT is in a suburban area, six miles from downtown Rochester. RIT has 245 buildings on 1300 acres, primarily built of brick.  They were all built in 1968 or later. Students can have a car in the Freshman year and RIT provides a free shuttle that goes off-campus.  There are 11 colleges in the Rochester, New York vicinity.  Five of these colleges are within five miles of RIT.

Weather-wise, an RIT student should be prepared for an average of 90 inches of snow per year, starting around Halloween.

Fraternities and sororities are popular, as are Division I hockey and video games.

What’s new at RIT?
Starting in the Fall 2013, the school calendar switches from quarters to 15-week semesters.

RIT applications:

RIT admits students by major, and applications are read by major. Students can list up to three majors on their applications, including undecided majors. 58% of the students who apply are accepted, although this varies by major. Among the hardest programs to get into are Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Game Design, Film and Animation, and Physician Assistant. An art portfolio is required for the School of Art and the School of Design, which are two of the six schools in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

The SAT Range for Middle 50% of Accepted Applicants varies by academic area. For example, the range for Engineering is 1790 – 2030, while the range for Engineering Technology is 1580 – 1820.

Co-op education:

RIT has a hundred years of co-op education.  They have 2000 co-op education employers in 50 states and 40 countries. Many majors require one or more co-op experiences, generally after the Sophomore year. Some majors with heavier co-op requirements (e.g., Engineering) take five years to complete. Seventy per cent of students end up working for a company that they had a co-op experience with.

Financial Considerations:

The cost of an academic year is about $44,000. The cost is about $24,000 for NTID students and hearing students majoring in American Sign Language. The school offers merit and need-based aid.  SAT/ACT scores are important for merit aid.

Early Decision:
The Early Decision (ED) at RIT is more friendly than most. It is easier to get in during ED than Regular Decision. Students who apply ED don’t have to commit to attending if they feel the school will not be affordable for them when they get their financial aid package. ED applications are due on December 1.

RIT Honors:

The top 5% of RIT students are in RIT Honors, which provides the students with early registration, a scholarship, a travel stipend, specialized housing, some unique courses, and more.

Fun facts:

RIT has the Guinness World Record for Mud Tug of War and for Dodgeball.

For high school Juniors:

RIT offers two 2-day program in the summer for rising Seniors to explore, investigate, and sample academic and career paths. This will give students an opportunity to get a taste of four possible majors/careers out of 68 highlighted, as well as to stay overnight in an RIT residence hall.