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Rice University


Founded in 1912 after real estate and trading tycoon William Marsh Rice was murdered, Rice University is a prestigious private non-profit research institution. Endowed for $4.84 billion, Rice is classified for having “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation. Each year, the selective school enrolls around 3,800 undergraduates and 2,700 post-graduates. Rice University is located on a forested 295-acre urban campus in the Museum District of Houston, America’s fourth largest city, next to the Texas Medical Center. As a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Rice is best known for its top-rated STEM education, especially in materials science, bioengineering, physics, and computer science.

The U.S. News has ranked Rice as the nation’s 18th best university, 14th top value school, and 14th best college for veterans with the 10th best undergraduate teaching. Forbes named Rice University the 17th best research university with a financial grade of A+. Rice landed 25th in the magazine’s list for “Grateful Grads.” Washington Monthly magazine crowned Rice the 30th best national college for social mobility. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance placed Rice University fourth in its best value private universities. The Leiden Ranking honored Rice fourth globally for research impact. Rice University was also named the world’s 101th top university by the Times Higher Education.

Rice University Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed in 2015, Rice University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Rice has been properly licensed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). At the programmatic level, engineering degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Business management programs meet the standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Architecture degrees are given approval from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Teaching programs are accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Rice University Application Requirements

Getting into Rice University is extremely tough with a selective acceptance rate of 15 percent, especially since over 17,000 students apply annually. First-year freshmen must be graduating from a state-approved high school by the end of the current academic year. It’s strongly preferred that applicants challenge their curriculum with AP or IB coursework. On average, admitted students have a high school GPA of 3.8. New students achieve an average score of 33 on the ACT and 2180 on the SAT. Rice has a holistic admissions process that considers creativity, ambition, leadership, life experience, and community service too.

Transfer students must have earned at least 12 undergraduate credits from a regionally accredited institution. Transfers should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 in recent college work. Most successful transfer applicants have completed four semesters to earn an A.A. or A.S. degree. For graduate programs, Rice applicants must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. or foreign university. Carrying a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework is preferred. All graduate students must also submit GRE or GMAT scores achieved in the last five years.

Before the priority deadline on January 1st, interested students should submit the Common Application form to Rice University with:

• $75 non-refundable application fee
• Official high school and/or college transcripts
• College entrance exam scores
• Two to four letters of recommendation
• 15 to 25-page research paper sample (graduate students)
• Brief personal statement
• Electronic art/design portfolio (if applicable)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate students at Rice University are charged $1,662 per credit. Full-time undergrads can expect to pay $19,940 per semester or $39,880 annually regardless of state residence. The university adds a $53 student activities, $48 recreation center fee, and $241 health services fee every semester. Students studying abroad must pay a $365 enrollment continuance fee too. At the graduate school, master’s or doctoral students typically must afford paying $2,216 per credit. This equates to $19,940 per semester or $39,880 each year for full-time graduate studies. Certain programs, such as the Master’s in Engineering, cost less at $1,778 per credit.

Around 67 percent of beginning, full-time Rice students earn financial aid. Flexible payment plan installments are available with the Office of Financial Aid. Students can borrow money using the Federal Direct, Perkins, Parent PLUS, or Grad PLUS loans. There’s also the Texas B-On-Time Loan and College Access Loan programs. Some students could qualify for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Texas residents could receive the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG). Anyone enrolled in at least six credit hours could benefit from Federal Work-Study (FWS). Scholarships are also offered, including the Lone Star Scholarship, Trustee Diversity Scholarship, Engineering Scholarship, and Lovett Scholarship.

Student Experience

Rice University is split into eight academic schools, including the highly acclaimed George R. Brown School of Engineering. With a low student-faculty ratio of 6:1, over 93 percent of Rice classes have fewer than 50 students. Currently, students can choose from 40 bachelor’s, 51 master’s, and 29 doctoral programs. Some unique undergraduate majors include Cognitive Science, Policy Studies, Air Force Science, Energy and Water Sustainability, Justice and Human Capabilities, Jewish Studies, or Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Rice abides by a strict Honor Code, which means professors give unproctored or closed-book take home exams.

According to the Princeton Review, Rice ranks #1 for “Best Quality of Life” and #9 for “Happiest Students” nationally. Students at this Houston-based university are given unparalleled access to applied learning. Cutting-edge research takes place at the Rice Space Institute, Laboratory for Nanophotonics, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science, and Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Easy access to the MetroRail system makes trips to the Houston Zoo or Houston Museum of Natural Science quick. Around 70 percent of Rice students live in college-owned housing. Dining options are abundant at the student-run Rice Coffeehouse, Valhalla, and Willy’s Pub.

Nearly 250 student clubs and organizations are available to span interests from board games and martial arts to solar powered vehicles and musical theatre. Students could write for the “Rice Thresher” or find rhythm with Rice University’s Marching Owl Band (MOB). Major events happening each year include the Beer Bike Race, Esperanza, Rondelet, and President & Dean’s Study Break. Sports lovers can watch the Owls compete in NCAA Division I with 14 varsity teams in Conference USA. The Rice University baseball team is perhaps best known for winning 14 consecutive conference championships and the 2003 College World Series.