Rice University Admissions

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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.

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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. 

Top Tier Admissions Can Help You Get Into Rice University:

“I am excited to inform you that I will be attending Northeastern University this fall! I am hoping that they fully reopen the campus as they plan to. Until then, I’m greatly anticipating being a Husky. I could not have done it with you and your team. Thank you very much for helping me with my application. I greatly appreciate it.”–C.K., Application Boot Camp student, Northeastern
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–M.T., Application Boot Camp parent
"I want to thank you, again, for a fantastic Top Tier Boot Camp experience. As a second time Top Tier family, we drank your Kool Aid fully and completely, and it paid off! You know your stuff; you manage to thread the needle with a mix of tough love and compassion (for both the students and their parents - no small feat) and you run a super-efficient 4-day program."
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"I got my acceptance letter over the weekend from Middlebury!! I’m officially a Panther!!! 🙂 Thank you for all of your help; I could not have made it through 1st quarter without ABC!!!"
-S.F., Application Boot Camp student
"Dear Michele, I just wanted to let you know that I just got accepted into Dartmouth for ED! I’m overjoyed and incredibly excited to continue my academic journey in New Hampshire. Thank you so much! You were always there to answer so many of my questions and were incredibly supportive of me; I couldn’t have done it without you and the Top Tier team!"
–B.S., Application Boot Camp student
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"We just got the news! Northwestern Class of 2024! She’s over the moon. This would not have happened without the advice and guidance along the way from all of the folks at Top Tier Admissions! From the advice on how to structure her supplemental info, including how to position her interests and activities relative to her major, the advice to take a college course this summer, and the amazing work that was done during Boot Camp, Top Tier is the absolute best and I know we have you to thank for her acceptance!!! Happy Holidays and thank you from the bottom of my heart!"
–P.S., Application Boot Camp parent
"Michele and team - Just wanted to pass along the great news that J got admitted today to Pitzer, her first choice ED school. Thanks for all the amazing support you've provided H and J over the past few years. They both learned a lot from the process and, of course, benefited greatly. We now get to celebrate the holidays with a sigh of relief!"
–V.J., Application Boot Camp parent
"J is so thrilled about attending Middlebury College next fall (and we are thrilled for her) and we appreciate all your assistance. It was so exciting for her to get the official acceptance last week. She loved her time at ABC and still keeps in touch with the group of friends she made. Boot Camp was tough, but she thoroughly loved it. She’s a grinder so the intensity and complete immersion didn’t bother her at all. She loved working with all of you and cherishes having another little group of friends that she bonded with in Boston. Don’t fire your caterer - she’s a big fan of the food at Boot Camp." –W.R., Application Boot Camp parent
"B, you helped me with my application during Boot Camp this past summer and I wanted to let you know that I committed to UPenn last night! Thank you so much for helping to transform my supplements into something readable. Boot Camp DEFINITELY helped me get in and made the process a lot less stressful. Thank you so much for all of your help!"
–B.A., Application Boot Camp student
"We wanted to thank you for your guidance, counsel and support through T’s application process. Your advice has been instrumental to his success and, more importantly, you gave him the confidence boost he needed to apply early at Princeton. We will continue to recommend Top Tier services to our friends and will always be grateful for what you did. We hope we can stay in touch and wish you a wonderful holiday season."
–K.L.T., Application Boot Camp parent
"We are excited to report that B was accepted ED to Duke University and has committed to attend next fall. We’ll forward a picture once our first Duke swag order arrives. Duke was her clear first choice and we are all very happy! We are also very pleased with the assistance we received from all of you at Top Tier and are confident that the guidance we received over the last seventeen months helped B wind up with this great outcome. So, thank you!"
–E.R., Application Boot Camp parent
"I am ecstatic to report that I got into my ED school: University of Chicago! Thank you so much for all your help and willingness to work through draft after draft until I got it right."
–W.D., Application Boot Camp student
"I am happy to report that we found out this evening that L has been accepted to Boston College! We are SO excited! And for your records, he was also accepted at Villanova and invited to the honors program. Thank you all so much for your help and support! We would have been lost without you!"
–M.J., Application Boot Camp student
"I wanted to extend my personal thanks for all your help with my son's application process and essays. Your Bootcamp proved to be well worth the investment and per your advice I stayed away from the temptation of even reading my son's essays until he was accepted. The bottom line is that he was accepted into his top choice of UChicago and in his acceptance letter his essay was specifically mentioned. Furthermore, this was a reach school for him which made the acceptance even more sweet. Your methods and advice were instrumental in his success and I cannot thank you enough for making my son's aspirations real!!"
–L.T., Application Boot Camp parent
"I'm not sure if my daughter told you yet, but she was accepted ED to Dartmouth in December. So, two for two with the W sisters-- thanks Top Tier Admissions!"
–G.W., Application Boot Camp parent x2
"I wanted to let you know that I got into my first choice, Boston College, early decision. I'm so excited. Thank you all so much for everything, I'm so grateful!"
–L.K., Application Boot Camp student
"Thank you to Mimi who wrote my personalized report back in junior year, to the entire team, and definitely to E! My quick acceptance into Cornell owes much to your insights and guidance. Although I have been accepted to Cornell, the process with Top Tier has made me want to stay competitive in college — whether for internships, or for graduate schools later in life. I thank you for that!"
–P.O., Application Boot Camp student
"WE MADE IT!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU!"
–L.J., Application Boot Camp student
“Once again, I am so impressed with your program. I am amazed at the sheer 
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I know how hard each of you worked this week; I hope you get to enjoy some
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"G is excited to go to her first choice, the University of Miami! She continues to say that Application Boot Camp was the best investment we ever made for her education." –R.J., Application Boot Camp parent
"I liked the process of having multiple people read my essays before finalizing a draft. This made me confident that my essays were clear and concise while also captivating to a diverse audience. Everyone was also patient and encouraging. Boot Camp took away so much stress coming into Senior Fall, allowing me to focus on my academics and earning my highest term average ever." –S.A., Application Boot Camp student
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-Parent of Application Boot Camp (Dartmouth) students
"Thank you so much for your help and guidance. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you and the Top Tier Admissions Team! I'm still in between UPenn and Georgetown, but I will make sure to visit both."
–S.I., Application Boot Camp student
"Clearly, Application Bootcamp and Top Tier took a lot of anxiety out of the whole situation. Our children know a number of kids who did not get into their top choice ED school, only to be devastated and stressed as they are without a plan for ED II and regular decision and have not worked on a range of essays for other schools. So while F & J’s EA-only strategy is not for everyone but made sense for them since they did not have a clear lead school when they were applying, being prepared made all the difference. The help Bootcamp provided in honing their voice and words into essays that reflect their intent was fantastic. In the end, it is all about having choices they are happy with, and I am happy to say they both have those now!"
–F.A., parent of Application Boot Camp students
"E., I just wanted to let you know that I got into Barnard Early Decision! Thank you for everything you have done!!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you did for me! Thank You!!" - H.L., Personal Boot Camp student
Barnard, Class of 2023
"I wanted to say thank you again for all your help! I got into UPenn, Cornell, Barnard, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Tufts, University of Michigan, and Wake Forest, and am waiting to hear from Georgetown; I think I'm leaning towards UPenn. Thank  you so much for all your guidance; I don't think I could have done it without your help!" --I.R., Application Boot Camp student
"We are thrilled! Duke is absolutely fantastic and is the exact right fit for K. Application Boot Camp definitely helped her get into Duke during their most selective year in history, a year in which they turned away well over 2,000 Valedictorians. Thank you!" -Y.R., parent of ABC student accepted to 9 top-tier colleges
Y.R.
"Boot Camp was the most incredible experience. It made me push myself into thinking about my future and prepared me to send in all my applications. I am so thankful that I got the help I needed at Boot Camp because it made my application process effortless once I had completed my essays. I think that the colleges were able to clearly see my goals and ambitions through the writing of my essays. I believe this helped me have a very successful application process." –P.K., Application Boot Camp student
Barnard Class of 2022

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