Congratulations on being named a Rensselaer Medalist! We look forward to reviewing your application to Rensselaer.
You may use any of the applications we accept to apply, and, as a Medalist, your application fee is waived. All other requirements are the same as for all incoming freshman applicants.
Every year, we accept hundreds of Medalists into our freshman class; however, please note that being named a Medalist is not an automatic acceptance to Rensselaer.
To receive the Medal Scholarship, you must apply, be accepted, and enroll at Rensselaer. Please be sure to mention on your application that you are a Medalist.
Medalist Scholarship: As a Medalist, should you apply, be accepted, and enroll at Rensselaer, you will receive a merit scholarship with a value of $25,000 per year. This award is guaranteed to be applied to your tuition for each year of your undergraduate study at Rensselaer. As a Medalist, if you enroll in our School of Architecture, your scholarship will be extended to cover the fifth year of the program. If you enroll in our Co-Terminal (five-year B.S./M.S.) Program, your scholarship will be extended to cover the fifth year of study.
Accelerated Programs: As a Medalist, if you enroll in either our Physician-Scientist Program or one of our Accelerated Law Programs, your Medal Scholarship will only apply to the financial aid package you receive for the three years you are studying on Rensselaer’s campus.
Rensselaer Medallion: As a Medalist, if you enroll at Rensselaer, you will receive your Medallion at Honors Convocation in the fall of your freshman year.
Medal Selection: Medalists are chosen by each individual participating high school. Rensselaer provides general guidelines for selecting a Medalist, but the ultimate decision belongs to the high school. Each high school selects their Medalist differently, so contact your guidance office to see if your high school participates and what their selection process entails.
At the same time that you are demonstrating that you have studied what WPI has to offer, you will also need to say something about what you have done to prepare yourself for a project-based curriculum. After all, anyone can go onto a webpage and say that they have an interest in robotics or water-quality research. What is it about your background and your experiences that make you committed to “developing solutions to problems that matter to real people?”
As I’ve already suggested in the water quality and robotics examples above, maybe your passion for solving real-world problems comes from your direct experience of people suffering from those problems.
To give one more example, maybe your mother’s vision has become very poor, but she always loved art and going to museums. In order to make the museum experience more interactive and multi-modal, engaging her sense of touch instead of forcing her to rely on her vision, maybe you want to experiment with using 3-D printers to make the art on museum walls into something that people can touch. Often, you will be best equipped to study those problems that touch your life in some direct way.
If you do not have any directed research experience or “official” project-based learning activities, there is still a lot that you can write about for this part of your essay. The capacity to work well with others and solve problems as a team is probably more important (and more difficult to teach) than technical know-how. If you can point to those moments in your life when you have had to work with others to solve a difficult problem, then you will go a long way towards demonstrating that you will make a positive contribution to the WPI community.
Maybe you needed to get together with the other section leaders in your marching band and come up with a new fundraising plan after the truck that held all of your timpani and marimbas got into a car crash. Maybe you and your co-workers did not speak the same language, but you had to work together to figure out the best way of maneuvering a forklift through the warehouse where you worked. What did you learn about the difficulties and rewards of working as a team from these experiences? You might mention that Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s unique curriculum will challenge you by asking you to continue working with others to solve hard problems.
Best of luck on your essays and applications!
Check out our a list of all 2017-2018 essay prompts for all colleges and universities.
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