Houston, TX
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 828 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Not Perfect, but Not Overly Strict – For the most part, the police department and Rice students seem to get along well. Most notably is the drinking policy at Rice. Basically, if you want to drink in public, you need to be of age, but otherwise, you and your friends can can drink in private, in your room for example, and as long as you don't get too loud and disturb others, or take your drinks outside where a police officer can see you, you won't get in trouble.

There have been some parking issues, and some issues with the campus police being too strict at public parties, but for the most part they are not overly strict.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The Residential College System Makes Housing Great – Rice students are sorted into one of eleven different residential colleges the summer before their first year at Rice. They then live at their residential college every year that they are campus. This creates a wonderful sense of family among the members of each college. Each college has its own unique culture that its members fully embrace. As for the rooms themselves, some residential colleges are hall style, while some are suite style. The suite style rooms tend to be a bit nicer, but overall the rooms at all the colleges seem to be nicer than the dorms you'd find at other universities.

5 College Freshman

Scholarships: Very Generous – Although I did not apply for Financial Aid here at Rice, I've heard amazing stories of the generous offers Rice University makes to students. Rice University is fully compromised to meeting every single student's needs and will not be hesitant in offering a very generous package.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Diversity: Diversity interaction is certainly huge here at Rice University. At a simple look, you will see countless amounts of ethnic groups, and you will be even more surprised by the individual stories each person carries. Don't be deceived by looks!

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Houston Is Amazing! Located at downtown Houston, students certainly have access to plenty of sites and activities with a simply ride down the metro. From concerts to restaurants, Houston is simply a place you'll never be done exploring. Also, Rice also provides free metro cards, free entrance to the Houston Zoo and Museum of Fine Arts, and etc.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Excellent Options – Rice Village is a small upscale shopping center close by. They have scores of restarurants, and they are all pretty good. There is a free bus that goes from Rice to Rice Village on Friday and Saturday nights.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Poor Choices for Vegetarians – Every servery is different, so the food choices vary greatly. At north servery, there is really good vegetarian food only on tuesday lunch, but the rest of the week is rather lacking. however, other serveries sometimes have better options, but they are on like the opposite side of campus, so its generally not worth the walk.

5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics are very estimable here at Rice. As a freshman, I have not found the transition from public high school to classes here at Rice to be unmanageable.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: A person could get along with out a car, limited parking but easy campus to navigate.

2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: You Pick – There is expensive and cheep ...but you get what ya pay for!

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Nice Location – Rice is in the heart of Houston and is located by museums, the zoo and outdoor theater and loads of other cultural stuff. Campus is secure and has good aminities!

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Good Education, Not a Great Crowd of People – Orientation week was perhaps the most exciting part of my entire experience at Rice so far. It's been downhill from there since I don't really like the campus life, but I'm a native Houstonian, so I've found my ways to cope. I wouldn't come here again if I had the choice since there's no active Greek life and the people are really stuck up.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Transportation: Mostly Just a Shuttle Around the Inner Loop – The shuttle seems to come right when you don't need it anymore all the time. Although it's supposed to come every 5 minutes or so, in reality you will often wait for about 10 minutes. This makes the shuttle fairly worthless in between classes.

3 College Junior

Diversity: Every demographic is represented at Rice, but without fail, social and racial cliques develop. It feels very much like high school all over again. It's possible to branch out, but the opportunities don't present themselves. You have to go out of your way to meet new people.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Still a Bit Awkward – Considering most of us weren't the most sought-after kids in high school, Rice kids tend to be a bit "deer in headlights" about the whole courtship matter, and have been for years. Dress is very laid back; you don't have to worry about impressing anyone, but if you dress nicely people will appreciate it. You'll get urban kids, small town kids, farm kids, almost everything save rednecks. Nevertheless, since we're all nerds, even the "cool kids" are dorks at heart, and will nerd out with you when you want.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Rice is known in Houston as being one of the best schools in the city, if not the best; most people in the city are impressed to know that you attend it. You get free admission into a large portion of the enormous museum district, and discounts to many of the shows and performances downtown. You can take the metrorail downtown and easily go watch a concert or visit the rodeo; if you have a car, you have even more access to the city around you. And if you like to eat, Houston is perfect for you.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Weather: It's extremely hot, so the short walk to class might feel like it takes longer than it actually does; a bike helps with that. The campus deals with hurricanes extremely well. No snow! Winters are usually in the 50s here.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: Stay on Campus – Residential college parties are the most frequented, largely due to transportation issues (it's hard to get anywhere in Houston without a car). Nevertheless, they're usually free, themed, and well-loved by the campus population.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: I always feel safe on this campus. The police are friendly and have an escort service; the EMT are trained peers, so you don't have to worry about getting in trouble for drinking. Doors lock automatically as well. Every now and then there's a problem - we are in one of the nation's largest cities - but for the most part it is extremely safe, both in daily life and during emergencies like hurricanes.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: It's like living with family, in a sentence. It's very familiar and everyone is willing to help you, including staff and faculty.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Wiess College – It depends on the residential college, but Wiess, where I am at, is very nice. It's cleaned by a crew every morning, and bathroom is kept clean every week. It's also very spacious with a suite-style living and a nice "living room" type common area per room. A large yard is also available as well as recording rooms, movie rooms, dance rooms, etc and a large common area for social reasons. There is also a computer lab on each college.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: All the restaurants we need, including fast food, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, American, Italian, Indian, etc. is all collected in Rice Village, and in the surrounding areas along Main and Holcombe where we can drive, walk, or take the bus to, so it's very convenient. Price is average.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Really Relaxed – Rice is a wet campus, and underage drinking happens all the time, even in public. The police seem to understand and accept this bit of Rice culture, and while they certainly will crack down on it if it's happening under their noses, they are usually quite lax about going out of their way to stop it.

College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek Life simply doesn't exist at Rice, although there have been attempts to recreate the feeling. The college system provides students with a social base that they don't have to be hazed into.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Not Such a Big Deal – Although there is moderate interest in IM sports, few people care about varsity sports. The student section at football games is just laughable, while basketball games aren't much better. Baseball gets the most attention, but is still not a hugely significant event for most students. However, Rice athletes are ranked highly academically; Rice prides itself on putting the "student" first in "student athlete", and this is something to be commended, I feel.


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Lovett Hall
Lovett Hall
Lovett Hall Lovett Hall Visible in front is a statue of the founder, William Marsh Rice
Photo by Daderot under Public Domain | Source

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Overall, Rice students are highly satisfied with their college experiences. While they complain about some of the negative aspects of Houston (pollution, transportation, traffic, panhandlers), they also admit that there are many positive aspects to Rice’s location (cultural and social opportunities of a big city, great restaurants!). Similarly, students have gripes about the University, including the increasingly bleak parking situation and a somewhat repetitive social scene (the same parties every year). Many aspects of Houston and Rice can be seen as both positive and negative. Houston weather is warm and temperate for the winter months, but it is oppressively hot and humid in the summer. Rice’s small campus and student body are nice because they create a personal environment and allow students to meet more people and not just feel like faces in the crowd.

Rice students love the residential college system. They also find their courses to be challenging but manageable. With few exceptions, the instruction is very engaging, and professors are accessible and personally interested in students. Rice University is steeped in tradition, and some of these traditions (O-Week, Willy Week, and Beer Bike) are the most anticipated social events of the year. Rice is small enough that these events bring together almost the entire student body. The traditions, high academic standards, and amazing people that make up the Rice community create an extraordinary and irreplaceable environment, making Rice an incredibly unique and unparalleled university.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Rice University

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