Get into Rice University
Rice University by the Numbers
Rice University is tied with Cornell for 16th place in the most recent US News and World Report’s list of National Universities, but only Rice has an intimate connection with NASA. Founded in 1912, what was originally called the Rice Institute now enrolls about 4,000 undergraduate students on its 300-acre urban campus in Houston, Texas. Its admission rate for the Class of 2023 was 8.7 percent across both admissions rounds.
Before arriving on campus, all incoming freshmen are assigned to one of eleven residential colleges on campus. There are between 300 and 400 students assigned to each residential college. Even though 30 percent of the student population lives off-campus in a given year, off-campus students remain affiliated with their residential college. Varsity athletes at Rice compete across 14 sports (7 men’s teams and 7 women’s) in the NCAA Division 1 for their mascot Sammy the Owl, but unaffiliated students can compete in 27 club sports and 9 intramural sports teams. In addition, students can join one of Rice’s 250 clubs, which range from the Aikido Club to the Rice Oceans Club.
Undergraduate students at Rice can pursue 50 different majors across 6 divisions of study: the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering, the School of Social Sciences, the School of Humanities, the School of Natural Sciences, and the School of Music. In addition, Rice offers graduate studies in the School of Business, and the School of Continuing Studies. Rice also offers 25 minors, from Naval Science to Politics, Law, and Social Thought. There are three Interdisciplinary Programs students can pursue including Air Force Science, Military Science, and Writing and Communications. Pre-professional programs include pre-med, pre-business, pre-law, and education, and students can earn certificates in Civil Leadership, Engineering Leadership, Language and Intercultural Communication. Rice boasts a 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio and median class size of 14 students.
Applying to Rice University
Students applying to Rice can either apply Early Decision or Regular Decision. The Early Decision round, which is due November 1st, is binding, but significantly improves applicants’ odds—last year, Rice admitted 15.5 percent of applicants in the early round. Students applying Early Decision can apply Early Action to other schools, but must withdraw their applications if they are admitted to Rice in the Early Decision round. Applications for Regular Round are due January 1st and are non-restrictive.
To apply to Rice, students can either use the Coalition Application, the Common Application, or the QuestBridge Application, for high-achieving low-income candidates. Either way, students will need to send either self-reported or official SAT or ACT scores. Rice superscores standardized tests, which means your highest sections scores across all test dates will be considered. Students can also request on-campus interviews by December 7th, or off-campus interviews by January 3rd. Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars must submit their application by December 1st, and architecture students must submit a portfolio and answer additional questions on their applications.
Rice University Admissions Wrap Up
Class of 2025 (ED)
In the Early Decision admissions round this year, 421 students were accepted to the Rice Class of 2025 out of 2,635 applicants for a 16 percent acceptance rate. The total number of applications, an increase of 29 percent, marks a new record, due in part to the test optional policy added this year due to the pandemic. Of the admitted students, 57 were QuestBridge scholars, 12 percent were international students, and 44 percent were out-of-state students.
Class of 2024
Last year, there were 23,443 total applications to Rice and 2,346 students admitted to the Class of 2024 for an admit rate of 10 percent. This was a slight increase from the previous year’s 8.7 percept acceptance rate (a record low). Of the accepted students, 1,906 were accepted in the regular decision pool, joining the 440 students who were admitted Early Decision.
Class of 2023
Rice set a record-low admissions rate for the Class of 2023, accepting only 8.7 percent of their 27,084 applicants over the early and regular rounds. At this rate, Rice only accepted a total of 2,364 students for the Class of 2023 over both rounds. The rate of admissions was higher for the Early Decision round, where Rice accepted 408 from 2,628 applicants for a rate of 15.5 percent.
There was also a 39 percent increase in Early Decision applicants for the Class of 2023, which is speculated to be because of the Rice Investment, which was announced in September, 2018.
The Rice Investment was created to offer scholarships for domestic families making up to $130,000. Under this grant-based financial aid resource, students with a family income below $65,000 receive free tuition, room, and board. Students whose families make between $65,001 and $130,000 are guaranteed full tuition (on an annual basis), and families who make between $130,001 and $200,000 can qualify for half tuition. As a result, rates of domestic applicants have increased, and with an anticipated yield of about 40 percent, Rice expects their domestic accepted students to make up a larger percentage of the admitted student body starting in the fall of 2019.
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