RPI vs WPI: “4 important factors you should consider”

Many students ask whether they should choose RPI or WPI, so you will discover the difference in this post.

in this post, we will make 4 points of comparison between RPI and WPI that cover:

  • Price
  • Social life and activities
  • Postion or localisation
  • Class difficulty

1 – RPI vs WPI: Price







Fees & Insurance



Estimated Living Expenses: 



Books and Supplies:






Total cost of degree in 4 years



This data was extracted from the tuition report for the year 2022/2023

The difference between the price of RPI and WPI is not bigger. But it is still interesting. Going into WPI school will save you over the 4 years course over $21,000, which is around $500 a month.

As a result, it is enough to pay for your monthly personal expenses, especially if you decide to live with roommates. Or at least it will be enough to cover your rentes expenses.

But the bad thing that you should consider about RPI is it forces you to stay on campus for 2 years, which means you will spend your first year and second year on the campus. Instead of going out and deciding to rent cheaply with your roommate.

This is not happening with WPI. You could freely decide where to live, without any conditions. This step alone could save you a lot of time instead of paying $10,000 for a lower quality dorm room, depending on its price.

Secondly, as you noticed on the table, the RPI school books cost double of WPI schools. Most RPI students buy second-hand books from the oldest student on amazon Because no anyone can afford to buy these prices.

The other thing that makes WPI better than RPI in terms of cost is the rent. In Worcester, you can rent good 3 nice bedrooms for just $600 or even less than $500 if got a good deal. So having a roommate will make the business so economics.

Instead of spending $15,000 on WPI campus fees, you could save $5000 over 4 years as global expenses of renting outside. This will be impossible in the case of RPI.

2 – RPI vs WPI: social aspects

if we look at or compare social aspects like community and engagement, RPI is one of the terrible schools in this case. WPIs campus is a lot more active where students can build good relationships and build many networks.

In the RPI, this is not happening at all. When you visit a school, especially a campus, you will nearly find people. Everyone is working by himself. Nobody was hanging out in any of the common areas.

If you are an extrovert, it will be a bad feeling. There is no community or library cooperative culture of studying. Everyone is staying in his own room.

Honestly, RPI school feels like a ghost town, not just from a personal perspective, but many students say that. No social life or entertaining activities except some poor sports activities. But it could be an advantage for students who get easily dispersed and love to say alone to focus more on their studies.

In WPi, people are still doing clubs and making friends and hanging out outside, which feels insignificant, but it’s nice to have that school culture when you’re tired and miss home, especially in the winter.

But, the principal reason that makes this lack of sociality in RPI classes is they are very so difficult and require working and speeding double time to get good grades, not like the case of WPI.

It doesn’t mean that WPI is easy, but RPI is more academic and focuses more on theory than RPI in its curriculums.

But as we said, RPI is not suitable for extroverted people who love to build relationships or have a lot of social life. You feel so lonely. Sometimes yo mental health can be in trouble if you don’t go outside and try to build relationships with other people outside the school.

The last thing that is bad for girls is RPI, which is only %32 of the female population. So it will be challenging to find a girlfriend to hand out with.

3 – RPI vs WPI: location.

If we compare RPI and WPI, there is a big difference in location.

WPI is in a large city with fairly easy access to Boston, which is easier to access all important stuff, especially being close to companies where you can take internships,

while RPI is in upstate New York with that need hours drive anywhere interesting. So this is another advantage that WPI has over RPI.

4 – RPI vs WPI: Classes difficulty

RPI classes are extremely difficult and not engaging as WPI, but RPI’s academic curriculum is richer than WPI, which is interesting for students who think about preparing for or doing their Ph.D. RPI gets an important research funding that reaches $100 every year.

But the nightmare is that students hate RPI is they are forced to participate in the mandatory summer ARCH program.

This program requires form students to remain on campus and take classes in the summer between their sophomore and junior years. So there is no entertainment or even internships. You will spend the whole summer studying.

You will be in the campus at least three semesters in a row, from your first year to your second year. It will be continually devoted to studying.

The Summer ARCH program is one of the most embarrassing programs that 78% of hate or aren’t satisfied to pass, according to the RPI official survery.

In addition, the ARCH program is one of the most condensed programs:

  • in summer, 6 to 12 weeks
  • in fall, 14 to 15 weeks

Most of the students fail in this course because they cannot handle this accelerated program rhythm.

WPI is less stressful, more project-based, and generally less analytical. So if you don’t like condensed programs, RPI is to avoid.

But as we said before, if you think of going further in your studies by doing some preparation for Ph.D. programs, RPI would be good. RPI is more heavily analytical/theoretical fields. While WPI will give you more experience in more real-world projects than most technology engineering schools.

But if you think of majoring outside STEM, RPI is not a good choice for nonstem students simply because it doesn’t offer programs like astrobiology, marketing, or history.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.