RIT expects to welcome a record-breaking freshman class this fall

Demand for RIT and its approach to education continues to increase

Elizabeth Lamark

Students throw paper airplanes during the 2019 freshman convocation in the Gordon Field House. RIT will require full COVID-19 vaccination for undergraduate and graduate students prior to coming to the Henrietta campus for fall 2021 in order to provide the safest possible learning and living environment.

For the second consecutive year, Rochester Institute of Technology officials anticipate that the university will welcome a record number of first-year undergraduate students. More than 3,350 first-year students have submitted deposits for fall enrollment as of June 1, up from more than 3,130 this time last year.

Ian Mortimer, vice president of enrollment management and associate provost for adult and online education, said he believes these numbers are a credit to RIT’s distinctive strengths and capacities as a university strongly connected with the needs of the world.

“This is a testament to the trajectory RIT is on and our distinctive mindset around what it means to be educated in the 21st century, which has never been more appreciated,” said Mortimer. “We are in, and will continue to be in, an era of disruption where employment markets are changing and connectedness to innovation is becoming a requirement in all areas of employment and scholarship. RIT’s future-focused programs, including our new economy majors, create amazing opportunities for our students to emerge as leaders in technical, creative, research, and services industries. The world’s needs and RIT’s capacities are nearly perfectly aligned.”

Marian Nicoletti, assistant vice president and dean of admissions, said that the class is the most academically accomplished in the university’s history. Last year RIT joined a growing movement to make standardized tests optional for admission, and while test scores expectedly rose, Nicoletti said the incoming class is more distinguished through metrics such as high school GPA, high school rank, rigor of curriculum, and more.

“RIT also continues to make strides diversifying its student body with more women and underrepresented students,” said Nicoletti. “Geographically, 53 percent of the freshman class will come from outside New York, with students from 49 states and 38 countries represented.”

Accelerating momentum and progress during a pandemic has been a theme for RIT, added President David Munson.

“We are delighted to welcome such a large and academically talented class to what we anticipate will be a much more vibrant campus this fall,” said Munson. “RIT has proved to be one of the safest campuses in the nation throughout the pandemic, and we look forward to what we believe will be a return to ‘near-normal’ in the fall. This is an exciting time to be an RIT Tiger, with the campus growing before our eyes. Work on the new epicenter of the campus—the Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED)—is proceeding at a rapid pace, work to overhaul our outdoor athletic fields begins this summer, and soon we will launch construction on a Performing Arts Theater, greatly expand Saunders College of Business, convert Brown Hall into a research facility, create new spaces for dance programs at NTID, and more.”

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