Rochester Institute of Technology is being recognized by The Princeton Review for being one of the nation’s best colleges for students seeking a superb education with great career preparation and at an affordable price. The education-services company features RIT in the just-published 2016 edition of its book Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck.
The Princeton Review chose the schools based on return on investment ratings it tallied for 650 schools last year. The ratings weighted 40 data points covering academics, cost, financial aid, graduation rates, student debt, and alumni salaries and job satisfaction. The Princeton Review editors culled data from the company’s surveys of administrators and students in 2014–2015 and from PayScale.com’s surveys of school alumni conducted through April 2015.
According to the summary, “RIT rounds itself out as an interdisciplinary institution where a unique blend of amazing design students, computing technology, and business students come together to find innovation with an entrepreneurial focus. Employers trust the RIT brand implicitly, and the school stresses experiential learning and creativity as a part of every curriculum. Although RIT is a larger private school with 11,691 undergraduates, it feels much smaller than it is because of its tight-knit community, and students are afforded many opportunities to branch out, work with other majors, and pursue non-technical interests.”
According to the publication, academic ratings were calculated using factors including how many hours students study outside of the classroom and the quality of students the school attracts. Also considered were students’ assessments of their professors, class size, student–teacher ratio, use of teaching assistants, amount of class discussion, registration and resources.
The publication also cites that “the school has one of the largest co-op programs in the world and most of the school’s majors offer these paid career-related work experiences that prepare students to be a key asset at any job.”
Students were quoted as saying, “RIT has an amazing number of clubs, groups, events and opportunities that bring together all of the people who love to innovate using technology and intellect.” The publication goes on to say, “RIT has a great focus on what students will do once they leave the classroom, and all professors have experience in the real world and use that experience and those connections to help us any way they can.”
RIT’s financial aid rating was calculated based on school-reported data on the percentage of students who were determined to have need and received aid, the percentage of need met for those students, and the percentage of students whose need was fully met. Student survey data that measures students’ satisfaction with the financial aid they receive is also considered. According to the report, around 77 percent of undergraduates receive merit- or need-based financial aid, with first-year students receiving an average gift-based award of $18,500.
The publication also cites that RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education helps arrange for counseling, mentors, job prep, portfolio reviews and career fairs, “keeping the hire rate straight out of college well above 90 percent.” According to the latest information on the class of 2015, the average annual starting salary for bachelor’s level graduates is in excess of $61,000.
“We highly recommend RIT, and all of our Colleges That Pay You Back schools,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president/publisher and lead author of the book. “They stand out not only for their outstanding academics but also for their affordability via comparatively low sticker prices and /or generous financial aid to students with need—or both. Students at these colleges also have access to extraordinary career services programs from their freshman year on, plus a lifetime of alumni connections and post-grad support.”
The Princeton Review is an education-services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books and other student resources. School profiles in Colleges That Pay You Back are available at www.princetonreview.com/colleges-pay-you-back.