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Rice University Acceptance Rate 2023 Overview

Rice University stands out as one of the leading learning institutions in the great state of Texas. It is also one of the nation’s finest research institutions, so you can imagine how much it would take to get in.

Also, the school has a reputation for admitting low numbers of students, but the undergraduates go on to become refined models of learning. Moreover, Rice University consistently ranks in the top 20 thanks to its exceptional undergraduate engineering program.

Rice University is equipped with the infrastructure and resources you’d expect from a renowned university and currently boasts a more than healthy academic and campus life.

It’s no wonder the school receives thousands of applications each year. However, a large percentage of the applications turn out unsuccessful. If you must get into Rice, there are certain standards to meet and requirements to accomplish.

With this article, you will learn about the acceptance rate of Rice University and other factors that affect students’ applications.

Rice University Acceptance Rate

According to the IPEDS, Rice University has an acceptance rate of 9.6%, but over the years, the figure has either gone lower or higher than that. For example, the freshman class saw Rice admit 8.3% of the 31,424 applicants in the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Down from 9.3% the previous year.

As for the Early Decision Acceptance Rate for the Class of 2026, students can consider an early binding decision. That’s because Rice admitted 440 members of the 2026 class via Early Decision. Also, the 2025 Class saw Rice University accept 18% of such applicants, taking 478 students out of 2,635 ED applicants.

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Compare these figures above to the previous record low of 8.7% set in 2019 and understand Rice’s challenging admissions process, even though most classes are incredibly diverse.

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Rice University: SAT, ACT, and Class Rank

Excellent SAT and ACT scores are features of a high-ranking university like Rive. Accordingly, the Class of 2025 had middle-50th standardized SAT scores of 1500-1560.

The corresponding numbers are 34-35 on the ACT. Following these test scores, 93% of Class of 2024 members placed in the top decile of their graduating high school class. A further 99% earned a spot in the top quartile.

Some of the trends and notes for the Class of 2026 application total show a 74% increase from five years prior. Further, the option not to include test scores is an avenue students can explore, so applications to join the Class of 2027 carry this option. Students can also expect an acceptance rate of 8.5% for the coming year.

Rice University: Academics

The academics offered by Rice University is based on popular majors, such as Computer and Information Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Cognitive Science, Economics, and Biochemistry. However, the school leans toward STEM emphases, especially science and engineering.

Here, students will find the phenomenal Wiess School of Natural Science. This facility and academic extension of Rice has a reputation for its strengths in artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, space science, and even nanotechnology.

On the whole, STEM research is significant on campus, but humanities students are present. However, they receive little support. For example, prospective doctors have an opportunity via the Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars Program, where they can attend Rice for their undergraduate degree, after which they immediately enroll in the Baylor 4-year M.D. program. But they must achieve a sufficient MCAT score and GPA to do that.

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Rice University is also a high-ranking school for Sports Management and allows students to specialize within the major fields of analytics, leadership, or law. In addition, students are required to run a sports management internship to graduate with a real opportunity of landing prestigious ones as underclassmen. That way, they gain valuable experience.

Rice University: Extracurriculars

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Rice is not exactly renowned for its sporting history, but one sport stands out – baseball. The baseball team, known as the Rice Owls, ranked D1 and #1 in college sports circles. Others outside the top ranks mostly enjoy a wide variety of club sports through their residential college system. Moreover, the university is big on intramural sports.

There’s the student government, where students can get involved, especially in their residential college, where elected student officials plan events, work on committees, and run enriching programs. Usually, Rice traditions and extracurriculars are connected to their residential colleges.

Other interesting extracurriculars and events include Impact Rice Retreat (IRR), a student-led leadership development retreat for freshmen and sophomores. The IRR helps students learn how to become more effective leaders using skill-and-confidence-building workshops.

Further, the Rice Outdoors Club takes charge of camping trips, weekly rock climbing trips amongst students, and other outdoor events in Texas. For music lovers, the Shepherd School of Music often hosts free theater and music events, but some residential colleges independently organize plays at their theaters.

How Does Rice University Rate Applicants?

According to available data, Rice University ranks nine factors it considers “very important” to its admissions process. They are:

  • Rigor of high school record
  • The class rank
  • Grade Point Average or GPA
  • Standardized test scores
  • Essays
  • Recommendations
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Character and personal
  • Talents/ability
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These factors are followed up with considered items, including an interview, first-generation status, alumni relation (legacy), state residency, racial/ethnic status, volunteer work, level of an applicant’s interest in Rice, etc.

Note that Rice University does not view offers of admission as entitlements, even with the best grades and test scores. The admissions process combines academic ability with a flexible assessment of an applicant’s unique talents, experiences, and potential. There is no quick formula for admitting a given applicant.

Rice also considers different forms of adversity one has faced besides academic competence and other life skills, such as creativity, motivation, artistic talent, and leadership potential.

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Financial Aid at Rice University

Rice University is need-blind for domestic applicants but need-aware for international ones. The school meets 100% of demonstrated needs, regardless of the student’s local or international designation.

Further, select students will be offered scholarships based on merit with no effort on the part of the student. They are automatically considered after they apply for admission. However, Rice University does not offer international students merit-based scholarships or financial aid.

With many graduates having a pile of debt to pay, Rice University takes a different route, thanks to 75% of Rice graduates finishing their degree debt-free.

In addition, Rice uses The Rice Investment financial aid initiative to help students fund their education. Along with this investment initiative, full-tuition scholarships and grants are provided to those with household incomes of up to $130,000.

Tips for Applying to Rice University

When you want to join the long list of 31,000+ Owl hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should consider the following tips:

  • Rice expects you to provide evidence of advanced coursework in high school. That means you must take multiple advanced classes, especially those within your area of academic interest.
  • There are six academic schools on, so you must apply to one of them in your application, and they each have different admissions requirements and standards. Once your application is denied, you will not be considered for a second-choice school.
  • There are no optional interviews at Rice University. But they recommend admissions interviews for freshman applicants, which is a great opportunity to showcase academic and personal successes while learning more about Rice. This can be conducted on or off compass during the admissions process.
  • Rice also heavily considers “demonstrated interest” in the admissions process. So you will be judged on whether you visited the campus, contact an admissions officer, and similar considerations.
  • Like other top schools, essays are part of the process, so you should dedicate some time to them. For example, you’ll be required to write why you wish to study in the academic areas you selected; the elements of Rice University that appeal to you, and the perspectives and experiences you hope to contribute to Rive University.
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Final Words

With all the appeal Rice University carries, it’s easy to see why more than 30,000 applicants want to attend. But at an acceptance rate of 9.6%, it will take something special to gain admission to Rice.

One thing about Rice is that everybody has a different shot at gaining admission, depending on quite a several factors. That means a strong academic background, extracurricular accomplishments, and other interests will give you a great chance.

Rice University is not wholly dependent on statistics to make the right decision regarding each applicant. Moreover, the tips here offer insight into what you must do.

Now that you know the acceptance rate of Rice University and other valuable information about its admissions process, you stand a better chance of getting in. Along the line, you’ll learn more about this school and how to respond accordingly.

About Martin Vernon

A lifelong learner, educator, and advocate for education as a means for individual and social change. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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