Do you know the dimensions of the dorms in the freshman 5? Like, how big the walls are (not like height from floor to ceiling, but width). I have a tapestry and I don’t know if the walls are big enough to bring it with me. I’m in a 188 square foot room in Hall.

In typical setups, there is a wall for each roommate. The third wall has the windows, and the fourth has the closets/entry.

Your wall is approximately nine feet wide.

Unfortunately, New York State fire codes do not allow for tapestries, flags, or parachutes to be hung in rooms.

What is closet space like in the freshman five? Is there any way to get to the train station from campus without taking a cab? Do public buses make stops on campus?

This is the best image I have off-hand of the style of closets that are in the freshmen five. If you take a look at the ‘Room Photos’ tab under Freshman Five Pictures, you can find pictures of all of the rooms. The door with the towel on it in this photo slides from left to right to expose the space for hanging things, as shown in the closet on the right-hand side. I would estimate that there are about 30 horizontal inches of hanging space. If this isn’t helpful enough, let me know and I can hunt down better details and a photo that concentrates on the closet.

On holidays (winter break, spring break, and summer break), campus shuttles make runs to the airport, train station, and bus station for free. You have to sign up with Public Safety and they are only offered on specified dates. Other than that, I would highly suggest that you make friends with some upperclassmen. They might have a car AND could be great mentors to help you figure out how to make the most of your time at Rensselaer. (plus $5 in gas money is much less than $20 for a cab)

Public buses for CDTA do make stops on campus! Take a look at this link and look for RPI towards the right-hand-side of the document. There are actually quite a few routes and stops at RPI:


I want to live in a pretty social dorm that has non-communal bathrooms, (meaning at most 2 rooms per bathroom), not too far from classes, and mixed gender. Which is the best dorm for me?

All dorms are mixed gender.

The Quad is closest to classes. Hall, Cary, Barton, Bray, Crockett, and Nason follow closely in that order (they’re all within about 100 yards of one another). BARH would be the farthest.

Quad and Barton are the only ones for freshmen that have non-communal bathrooms.

So, it sounds like you want to live in Quad… but do some of your own research. I’m not a match-making service.

What is the temperature like in each building? Are there any that are especially hot or especially cold? As someone who can’t stand the heat, are there any dorms that I should try to avoid living in? Thanks!

Barton and Quad have central air conditioning. In Barton, each room has a thermostat and in the Quad, you control the temperature and amount of heat/AC. It’s really only hot outside for a few weeks in the early fall and a few weeks in the late spring (if even).

From what I’ve heard, the other freshmen five (Hall, Crockett, Cary, Bray, and Nason) are heated the same – some people say they are overheated/hot, so maybe avoid those. They also have no central AC.

For the lofted beds shown in the Nason Hall photos, do you have to request that or can you ask them to be like that once you’re assigned a room?

After checking with ResLife (Residence Life), I still don’t have a much better answer. They said that more information will be sent out to students who accept admission. I know that you have to go through to have it done, but I don’t know about how late is too late.

You should know your housing assignment by the middle of July (at least that was when we all learned) and I would think that you could still order a loft for a few weeks after this. I’ll keep looking for answers.

Two things actually; Which housing option do you think is the best for freshmen? Dorms like Bray, Crockett, Cary, etc, or Barton, the Quadrangle or BARH? And how exactly does the whole laptop situation work? I know they offer a deal on a really good laptop, but what was your experience with that?

Calling any residence hall “the best” is an impossible choice to make. Depending on your lifestyle, you may prefer one hall over another. For starters, athletes tend to live in BARH, as it’s close to ECAV and the dining hall is open until 8:30pm. That being said, if you want to live in BARH and you’re not athletic, you can still fit in.

The Quad is often considered quieter because there are no hallways. This is where I live, and there is still plenty of social life. Also, BARH and the Quad hves upperclassmen living on the third floor; it can be nice to know older students. Quad is also really close to classes, especially compared to BARH. Quad residents typically eat at Sage.

Barton and the Freshmen Five are essentially equal in distance to ECAV, Commons, and the academic part of campus. Barton is just nicer and sometimes called “Hotel Barton.” These dorms overall are the most social because of their hallways and openness. Really though, everyone makes friends.

The laptop situation: RPI offers a Lenovo laptop for about $1800. The laptop comes ‘imaged’ with most of the software you need for classes and a four year service plan. This year, we got W500s. Some students complain about the quality of the laptop, but I’ve found them to be pretty high speed and the service plan is nice. Laptops with any problems can be taken to the Help Desk at the VCC and they will try to fix the problem or lend you a loaner laptop while they work on yours, if need be. If you don’t have the RPI laptop, the Help Desk can help you, but you won’t get full replacement parts and you have to chase down (and sometimes pay for) the software. You can find more information here: