Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General / Orientation

Orientation is delivered in a 3 part onboarding experience for first-year students and families 

  1. Online New Student and Family Engagement Modules - Available late June 
  2. August - In Person Onboarding for New Students and Parents - Move-in & on-site New Student and Family Orientation August 25
  3. Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond- students only August 25-28

Move in dates are dependent on your distance from campus and any early arrival activities you are apart of. Fall Athletes and ROTC students will receive direct information from their coaches and instructors about their move in expectation.

The majority of students will fall into one of 3 dates:


  1. Wednesday, August 24
    1. Students who live more than 450 miles from campus which will be most of our international students
  2. Thursday, August 25
    1. Students who live closer than 450 miles from campus

NOTE- if a student signs up for one of our NRB overnight trips – their move in date will move to Monday August 22nd as the trips run from Tuesday, August 23-25th.

Classes begin Monday, August 29.

Following move-in, virtual orientation programs will continue. NRB in-person activities will be kicking off Thursday, August 25th with the NRB Kick Off BBQ around 6pm.  Your RA will provide more information as we gather for the first time as one large group. 

Yes, NRB is the official continuation of your orientation program and all programs are required August 25-August 28.


Live sessions start the week of June 27.  Webinars are recorded. We also encourage you to join any of our weekly connect sessions, every Wednesdsay at 12 noon EST, starting June 29 through the move-in week. 

Yes, there will be a half day self-paced in-person orientation for all families on Thursday, August 25.  Families will be able to have lunch on campus and meet with and explore resource tables and additional information sessions.  Offices will also be open during this time should families need to visit any of our staff.

This summer, all of the webinars are highly encouraged. You don’t need to attend live; the recordings will be posted within a few days of the webinar. Please participate in as many as you can.  Connect days are also encouraged so you can get to know our orientation staff and ask any questions you have from week to week.  These are on Wednesdays at noon and start on June 29. 

There are 3 modules total. Module 1 is due July 8, Module 2 is due July 29, and Module 3 is due August 15 Visit to complete these modules – they can be found under “compliance.” Follow along with the to-do list for all other deadlines.  

Modules are located at under “compliance.”  Module 1: Academic Overview is available now; Modules 2 and 3 will become available in July. Modules will take 30-60 minutes to complete.  

Academics and Registration

At Rensselaer, you will have a couple of different advisors. This summer, your advising hub representative will reach out to you with information on how to select your first semester classes. Later in your Rensselaer journey, you will also have a faculty advisor to work with. To get started, please visit our Advising and Registration page found here.    

Rensselaer accepts a score of 5 on AP exams. You should receive your scores in mid-July and should work with your advising hub to send in your scores and schedule yourself accordingly for this fall semester’s courses.  

Full time status is 12 credits or typically 3 classes. Most first-year students will be registering for 16-17 credits which will align them to graduate in 4 years, or 5 for architecture majors.  

Class registration will occur between July 21-August 3.  Your time ticket is in the Student Information System (SIS) and you will register through SIS. Note, there is a specific time your account becomes active and that time is listed in SIS. This time ticket tells you what date and time you can register for classes during the advising period.    

Registration will happen July 21- August 3. If you need any changes or to move things around, there will be time when registration opens up again but PLEASE work with your advisor on any changes you might be interested in making.  

To learn more about the HASS Core and specifics based on your major, please watch this video

Student Life

Our admissions office will continue to offer in-person tours this summer. Register at You can take a virtual tour for now to get familiar with some of the main areas you will frequent the most this fall. 

Mail should be addressed as:

"Your Name"


Residence Hall & Room Number

1999 Burdett Ave.

Troy, NY 12180


Mail and packages can be picked up at the Student Union 

Regular hours: 

Monday through Friday — 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday — Closed

More info and FAQs about student mail services can be found here 

The Rensselaer Collegiate Store is a great place to start. Once you have your course schedule after registration July 21-August 3, you can search and shop using your RIN #.  

Packing for college can seem like a tall task, but what you actually need is going to depend on what makes you feel comfortable being away from home.  Establishing a new space to live and learn in is exciting. Here are some suggestions, and don’t forget to leave prohibited items at home.

The laptop you order is entirely up to you. They are all great options, some with a faster processor or sharper graphics. All will work for most majors. The laptop choices along with details on their specific features are available here

In the student health portal, recording your COVID-19 vaccination is just like uploading your other health forms and records. Visit the health portal to login.  

Our dining team works with students with special dietary needs, including allergies. Please reach out to our campus dietician, Kimberly Mayer, and meet her on our webinar this summer, Navigating Dining on Campus. Kimberly Mayer can be reached at  

First-year students are not permitted to have cars on campus. There are many transportation options for getting around campus and off campus. Learn more here. The CDTA is free with your Rensselaer ID as well.  

This summer, FYE has sent emails to the personal email you applied to RPI with and your Rensselaer email. To login to your Rensselaer email from outside the campus and all other RPI systems, you will need to be connected to the Virtual Private Network (VPN). Please read all of the instructions available in this welcome email to help you set up Cisco AnyConnect and the Duo Mobile App. You will need to be connected to the VPN each and every time you access your email at  

Yes! Through the Chaplains Office, we can help connect you to local places of worship, as well as various student religious organizations on campus. Our chaplain, Fr. Larry Rice, is available to help you look at life’s big questions, assist you through difficult times, and integrate issues of faith, meaning, and values into your life at Rensselaer. You can email him at, click here, or use the QR below to get connected to your local faith community.

Financial Aid and Billing

You can view your bill in SIS the second week in July. Bills will be due August  12.

The Bursar website has a lot of great information so you may find your answer here.   

If not, please contact the Bursar’s office using their help system or (518) 276-6610.  

Over 95% of our incoming students receive some sort of financial aid from Rensselaer. Although a majority of this financial aid is distributed based on need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile applications, many incoming students do receive merit-based aid. In all cases, there are no additional steps for the student to take to be considered for our merit-based aid; we make these decisions based on each student's application materials.

Financial aid including merit aid will show up on your e-bill statement but it is not applied to your balance until the semester starts. This is because loan dispersement happens upon official enrollment or the start of the semester.

Inviting Others/Parents and Parent Access

Student Invites

  • Select the CashNet link in SIS
  • Click your name on the top left.
  • Under PAYERS, input the information requested for the person you wish to have access.
  • They will then be sent an email with the access information.

Parent Access to eBills

Health Insurance Enrollment / Waiver - Portal Form Due By September 1st.

If you AFFIRM ENROLLMENT in the RPI/CDPHP Student Health Insurance Plan, the health insurance fee will remain on your e-bill. Coverage is effective August 1 (January 1 for new spring students) through July 31st. To access a copy of your insurance card and other services provided by CDPHP, please register with CDPHP's website here. You will be asked for your Member ID, which is your RIN#,  and a suffix, which is '00,' along with your date of birth and zip code.


If you WAIVE ENROLLMENT in the RPI/CDPHP Student Health insurance Plan, please allow 2 weeks for the waiver request to be reviewed and the health insurance fee to be removed from your RPI e-bill. If your waiver request is denied, you will be notified. The denial notification will include information on why your request was denied and how to appeal the denial.

The form to either affirm or waive enrollment in the RPI/CDPHP Student Health Insurance Plan is found on the Health Portal.

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