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Colleges / Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

RPI Admissions

If you want to apply to RPI, the regular decision application deadline is January 15 and the application fee is $70.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students who are struggling to afford application fees may be eligible for an application fee waiver.

Students who submit their applications for Fall should receive an admissions decision no later than March 6.

RPI Admissions Stats at a Glance

RPI 2021 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.9
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 55%
Mean SAT Score 1393
Admissions Test Policy Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 67%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 29%
Waitlist Yes

Applying Early to RPI?

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers early decision and also offers early action. Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing. Early Decision 2 applications are due 12/15.

Mark your calendar!

The Early Action deadline is December 1, which is coming up fast! RPI will release EA admissions decisions no later than January 30.

The early decision acceptance rate at RPI is 7%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 57%. RPI accepts about 96% of early action applicants and 57% all applicants for all deadlines. Last year, RPI admitted 413 of the 588 students who applied early decison. Last year, RPI admitted 658 of the 687 who applied early action.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

How Hard Is It To Get Admitted to RPI?

It is very difficult to get into RPI. RPI evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, RPI accepted 57% of students, around 9,539 of the 16,661 students who applied.

Schools that are very difficult to get into, like RPI, accept fewer than 60% of all applicants. At least 50% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT and over 26 on the ACT.

Transfer student admissions is very difficult.

In 2021, RPI waitlisted 2,302 students. Of those, 1,342 eventually got off the waitlist.

What Does RPI Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are given the most weight when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and choose schools that prioritize the areas where you're strong.

Admissions Factors at RPI

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Important
Geographical Residence Not Considered
Class Rank Very Important
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Important
Level of Applicant's Interest Considered
Application Essay Important
First Generation Considered
Interview Not Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Not Considered
Talent/Ability Considered
Standardized Test Scores Very Important
Volunteer Work Considered

RPI Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to RPI must submit the following items. Double check with RPI's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Minimum High School GPA (On 4.0 Scale) 3
Other Requirements portfolio for electronic arts
Letter(s) of Recommendation 1
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into RPI?

Students admitted to RPI have an average unweighted GPA of 3.9.

Out of all students that were admitted, 37% submitted a class rank. At RPI 55% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 87% were in the top 25% and 95% were in the top 50%.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA 37%
3.75 and 3.99 30.5%
3.50 and 3.74 22.31%
3.25 and 3.49 9.79%
3.00 and 3.24 2.96%
2.50 and 2.9 1.21%
2.00 and 2.49 0%

RPI does consider ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions process.

RPI has a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 67% of RPI's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 29% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for RPI?

To be competitive with other RPI applicants, you should strive to earn between 1310 and 1460 (or higher!) on the SAT. At RPI 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1460 and 25% of scored lower than 1310, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a RPI student is 1393.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of RPI students scored 780 or higher and 75% of students scored 620 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of RPI students scored 720 or higher, and 75% scored a 620 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for RPI?

To be most competitive at RPI, you should strive to earn between 29 and 34 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 34 means you fall in the 75th percentile for RPI's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 34, and three out of four students scored lower than 34 on the ACT.

A 29 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for RPI students. Only one out of every four students scored below 29.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

For transfer students, it is very difficult to get admitted to RPI.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is June 1.

Transfer students can enroll in RPI during the following terms: - Fall Term - Spring Term - Summer Term

RPI Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to RPI?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to RPI.

Does RPI accept transfer credits?

RPI accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does RPI accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

RPI accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to RPI?

No, RPI is test optional, so you can decide whether to include your test scores. If you have higher than average scores, you probably want to include them. If your scores are average or below average, you may want not want to include them in your application..

What is RPI's acceptance rate?

RPI's acceptance rate is 57%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at RPI?

RPI's early decision acceptance rate was 7% in 2021.

What is the early action acceptance rate at RPI?

The early action acceptance rate at RPI was 96% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About RPI?

To learn more about RPI, choose from the options below:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Join the conversation about about RPI in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in New York or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

RPI Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Very Selective


How hard is it to get into RPI? RPI is a very selective institution. The RPI acceptance rate is 57%. This means that the institution accepts 57 out of every 100 applicants.



Wondering what your chances are of getting into Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute?

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RPI Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Jun 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to RPI is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to RPI is Jun 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

RPI ACT Scores


ACT Range

29 - 34

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

34 and Above


29 to 34


29 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to RPI is 30. Students with an ACT score of 34 and above have a good chance of getting into RPI. Students with an ACT score that falls between 29 and 34 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 29 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

RPI SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1310 - 1460


Math SAT Range

680 - 780


Reading SAT Range

620 - 720

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1460 and Above


1310 to 1460


1310 and Less


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SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for RPI students is 1393. Applicants with SAT scores of 1460 and above have a good chance of being admitted to RPI, while applicants with SAT scores between 1310 to 1460 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1310 have a low chance of being offered a spot at RPI.


Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At RPI, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.93. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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