Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General / Orientation

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

  1. Summer checklist, webinars, and percipio learning programs
  2. August - Move-In and Student and Family Orientation Saturday, August 24
  3. Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond- students only August 24-August 28 & BEYOND!

Move in dates are dependent on 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 2 dates:


  1. Tuesday, August 20
    1. students participating in an NRB Overnight Experience
  2. Friday, August 23
    1. other students not participating in an overnight trip or athletics, ROTC etc. 

Classes begin Wednesday, August 28.

Orientation activities will kick off Saturday, August 24th with a full day experience. Families are invited to join you for the first day of orientation. More details will be sent to you directly regarding the program. Family "goodbyes" will follow the orientation day program on Saturday, August 24th at ~7pm. 

Yes, NRB is the official continuation of your orientation program and all programs are required August 24-August 28.


Yes, there will be a full day conference-style orientation for all families on Saturday, August 24.  Families will be able to have lunch on campus and meet with and explore resource tables and additional informational breakout sessions.  

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 or have interest in. Your in person orientation will start when you move-in in late August. 

There are several programs that vary in length and topic, they are all self paced and built so you can go back to them if needed. To access the learning programs sign into Percipio and access them under “my profile” then compliance. The first set will be released on June 18. 

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 via your Rensselaer email by June 24th. 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.    

During course registration, we will share details about how Rensselaer applies Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate credit. The Office of the Registrar will provide you with a copy of the credit you have been awarded based on your AP and Higher Level IB test scores. 

Make sure your official AP/Higher Level IB test results are sent directly to the address in the sidebar, attention Office of the Registrar.

First-time freshmen are required to complete all AP/Dual Enrollment/IB credit requests by the end of their first year to be considered.

If you have taken courses for regular academic credit at another college or university, please send catalog course descriptions and college transcripts to the Office of the Registrar now so that they can be evaluated. College courses taken to satisfy high school graduation requirements are not considered. Students are required to submit all requests for prior credit by the end of their first year.  Incoming Freshman Transfer Credit Procedure/High School Certification Form

College Credit & AP/IB Credit Information

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 10-16.  Your time ticket is in the Student Information System (SIS) and you will register through SIS. This time ticket tells you what date and time you can register for classes during the advising period.    

Registration will happen July 10-16. 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. More tour opportunities will be available during orientation day. 

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 10-16, 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 mid-June. 

Visit the health portal to login to submit all necessary documents. 

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 will be communicating exclusively with your Rensselaer email.  Checking your RPI email often is essential to your success.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 your first 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.

  • To access your individual email go to:
    1. Select school/work account if prompted
    2. Login with your school/work Microsoft account with your RPI email and RCS password
    3. Accept Duo prompt if presented
    4. You will be reprompted to login about once a month

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, 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 16.

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

Rensselaer Student Health Insurance Plan (RPI/MVP)

Coverage includes:

  • Preventative Care
  • Primary Care Office Visits
  • Urgent Care Visits
  • Emergency Care
  • Inpatient and Outpatient Hospital Care
  • Mental Health Services
  • Required Immunizations
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Labs and Imaging
  • Ambulance
  • Medical, Political, Natural Disaster Evacuation and Repatriation

$1,000 per-semester fee provides:

  • Fall coverage from August 1 to January 31
  • Spring/Summer coverage from February 1 to July 31

The annual enrollment/waiver process:

  • Applies to all full-time students
  • Has a deadline of September 1
  • Includes completion of the enrollment/waiver process, which is available via the Insurance Enrollment/Waiver Portal
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