Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the Indianapolis 500

Sunday marks the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. I felt it was only appropriate to blog about my campus visit to the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT). Perhaps you are puzzled at the connection between the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and this academically challenging school located one hour west of Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Connection

Rose Hulman Institute of Technology was founded in 1874 as the Terre Haute School of Industrial Science. It would later be renamed Rose Polytechnic Institute after founder Chauncey Rose. In 1922, the campus moved to a 123 acre farm donated by the Hulman family. They were wealthy Terre Haute/Indianapolis businesspeople and philanthropists. The Hulman’s acquired their wealth through business investments that include producing Clabber Girl baking powder, owning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League. In recognition of the Hulman family’s financial contributions over the years, the school was renamed in 1971 to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.


1. This number is displayed on all banners hanging throughout the campus. It is where Rose-Hulman’ ranks in the U.S. News & World Report list of engineering colleges and universities. RHIT has maintained this ranking for the past 14 years. Engineering is the main focus of this highly selective school since its origins providing local engineers technical training for Chauncey Rose’s railroad construction company. In addition to the rigorous undergraduate education, the only Master’s level courses at RHIT are in the engineering field.


Engineering, Math, and Science. These three fields in which a RHIT student can major. In a conversation with an admissions representative, he boosted “we do not have many majors, but we excel in those we have.” RHIT supports this claim with the U.S. News & World Reportranking as the #1 engineering school for 14 consecutive years. Yet, the curriculum at this STEM school requires more Humanities and Social Sciences courses than most engineering schools.

In order to ensure excellence in the classroom and to continue a hands on, one-on-one education, typical classes are on the smaller size. The average class size is 12:1 and is taught by leading professors with the highest degrees in their field. This is different from most colleges that use teaching or graduate assistants.

To encourage group collaboration and intellectual thinking, white boards are in all dormitory commons area. Also, all dormitories must following the “Open Door Policy.” This means students are required to leave their dorm room open during the day if they are inside. This fosters socialization amongst the nations brightest academic minds. The concept is to ensure students have a balance between academics and socialization. Quite a unique policy at a rigorous college, but when you have the top engineers in the nation on your campus, you can create unique rules.

Rose-Hulman Ventures

Rose–Hulman Ventures is an engineering educational experience located in a Certified Technology Park three miles south of the main campus. It serves as a source of internships and job opportunities for startups and established companies of all sizes for RHIT students and alumni. It is not an academic research facility run by RHIT or paid for through student tuition, but funded by the companies that pay for the student employment. Students are selected by the companies to intern part time during the school year and full time during semester breaks. All intellectual property created at RHV belongs with the company, not the student or the school. The purpose of this facility is not to commercialize RHIT, but to promote their students to local and national companies. Established in 1999 and with continual funding of nearly $55 million from the Eli Lilly Endowment, this unique concept has flourished for the past 14 years.

Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at or email him at Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at

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