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Always be open-minded when considering a college. Never be afraid to ask questions of current students and faculty. Their wi...
Always be open-minded when considering a college. Never be afraid to ask questions of current students and faculty. Their willingness to respond will say a lot about a university. Always try to visit a campus if its possible; visits give you an outlook you can't get from reading pamphlets. Don't get too caught up with statistics. They really don't mean all that much. But most importantly, try to visualize yourself as a student at each college you're considering. If you're having a hard time doing it or can't do it at all, chances are that college isn't a good fit for you. Remember that you're merely choosing where and how to spend the next four years of your life, not the entire thing. Good luck!
The residential college system here is wonderful. It is Rice's alternative to fraternities and soroities. They offer the same support system and community, the same petty rivalries and competition that the Greek system offers, only they're co-ed. Plus, you're automotically sorted into a college, so rushing is not necessary. There is never a feeling of unacceptance or not belonging. Also, since everybody lives together in these colleges, there is no discrimination based on class or year, so a lost freshman can turn to their upperclassman neighbor for support at any given time.
The workload is tremendous. It can be hard to balance sleep, grades, and a social life. But with a little time management skills, it can definitely be done. Fortunately, everyone around you is stuck in the same situation. There's a lot of support.
My classmates are brilliant, motivated, engaged and social individuals.
My classmates are brilliant, motivated, engaged and social individuals.
Residential college system, 5:1 student-faculty ratio, Houston as the 4th largest city in the country, Rice baseball, unique college traditions like Beer Bike and Night of Decadence, Orientation Week (or O-Week), literally across the street from Texas Medical Center (world's biggest medical district), emphasis on undergraduate research, completely undergraduate-oriented, flexibility of majoring in cross-disciplines, excellent graduation school acceptance rates (92% medical school acceptance last year), prestige in Houston, laidback and collaborate rather than competitive atmosphere
I would highly suggest choosing a college based on realistic expectations (must meet SAT and GPA ranges, etc). If anything, the singlemost factor that swayed me towards one college over another was the campus visit. I cannot emphasize the college campus visit enough. I picked Rice because I visited during Owl Days and had a blast! I met so many cool people there and overall had an incredible vibe at the college after being introduced to the college life there, including academic offerings, research opportunities, and clubs and activities. Also, the second I stepped onto Rice's campus, I knew it was the college for me. As cliche as it sounds, I had an epiphany and knew right away that Rice was perfect for me. In regard to making the most of the college experience, I think you need to get out of your comfort zone and get out there and make friends. Everyone's new, everyone's nervous, and everyone's in the same boat as you--so don't be afraid of putting yourself out there! Join clubs and activities and expand your social circles. And go to class too! Have a good balance between academics and fun.
My classmates are brilliant, focused, dedicated, and competitive, yet still friendly and helpful, and also fun, interesting, ...
My classmates are brilliant, focused, dedicated, and competitive, yet still friendly and helpful, and also fun, interesting, committed, and involved.
For finding the right school: Focus on your dreams. What is it that you, the student, are really passionate about? Focus on that, and find some place where the challenges will make you stronger, and you can learn to the best of your ability, not just about the subjects in your course of study, but how also to become the best person you can be. For making the most of the experience: Stand upon your own two feet, revel in the quest for knowledge, and do not be discouraged when you don't always come out on top. Find friends who are just as avid as yourself and who represent the full spectrum of interests, majors, and joys in life. Don't be afraid of a little adversity, don't be afraid to work, as this builds character, and that is what the real world is looking for. Obey your principles and leave no regrets. HAVE FUN! Make sure you can look back on these short years fondly. Remember that the light at the end of the tunnel leads to more, bigger, better tunnels, and that good luck is preparation meeting opportunity.
Anyone who isn't in the top 5% intelligence-wise or cannot focus nad dedicate themselves to their studies.
Best things: Students who are genuinely passionate about their work, their research, their activism, their improv comedy, or ...
Best things: Students who are genuinely passionate about their work, their research, their activism, their improv comedy, or whatever. Challenging, interesting classes are in high demand -- even if they're not in a popular major but "just for fun" -- and participation in class discussions is enthusiastic. Lots of people double major or dabble outside their fields out of intellectual curiosity. Everybody's busy and lots of people are busy starting something new and exciting. Not a lot of "my parents made me go to college" or "I'm looking for a class that won't interfere with my hangovers" or "my goal in life is to make a lot of money quickly." Also not a lot of grade-grubbing or competitiveness; downward curving is against the rules and study groups are the fundamental unit of social life. My only reservation about recommending Rice is that I think it is changing. The commitment to shockingly low tuition has faded completely, and so the old student population, made up of people who were accepted to elite coastal schools but couldn't afford them, is changing. The school is also looking to double in size. To what end, I don't know. Everything I know about the school might be different four years from now.
You can certainly find plenty of people who match the first two descriptions, but they're subgroups on par with many others. The third stereotype, not so much; the non-engineering programs at Rice are strong and vibrant, and the engineers themselves are much more invested in the arts and humanities than at other schools. You'll find plenty of computer science/philosophy or biology/English double majors. Not having many highly-ranked humanities graduate programs means the professors tend to be more invested in teaching undergraduates. Not the place to be if you want to be a media studies professor when you grow up, but definitely hospitable to writers, artists, and those who seek a rich humanities curriculum.
- Geeky workaholics - Immature and obsessed with the "summer camp" aspects of residential college life - All engineers
I loved Rice. I still love Rice. In fact, part of me wishes that I was in high school so that I could start at Rice all over ...
I loved Rice. I still love Rice. In fact, part of me wishes that I was in high school so that I could start at Rice all over again! Of course, that would require that I actually be in high school again. Scary. Rice has one of the best undergraduate programs in the country, and it doesn't have the ego of some of the big names (ahem...I'm talking to you Harvard, Yale, Stanford). The lack of ego makes for a great undergraduate experience. Most students aren't completely caught up in themselves and their personal greatness, and neither are the professors. This makes for a fun learning environment (remember, the competitive claws are sugar-coated at Rice). However, there is a downside to Rice's missing ego. No one has heard of Rice! This can be a problem for graduates who, like myself, relocate to another part of the country and wish that their school had the name-recognition to help them land a great job. If you yourself have a huge ego, it can be difficult to deal with people asking if Rice is a community college.
Lots of racial interaction. However, not lots of socio-economic differences. Most Rice students, regardless of race, come from a two-parent, upper middle-class household. There are aberrations, of course. But they don't matter. Everyone talks to everyone--not many cliques. Rice students are casual. People don't really dress up for class. Jeans and a T-shirt, pretty much year-round. Rice students are fairly apathetic. Usually the upcoming orgo test draws a lot more attention and discussion than the upcoming election.
It is true that most Rice students are hard-working and competitive (though we are adept at coating our competitive natures in sugar--no claws here). And probably 25%, if not higher, of undergraduates don't drink. But there are plenty of opportunities for those so inclined to get wasted--and the great part is that they are often school-sponsored! The residential colleges host fun parties, and thanks to "private parties" (mini-parties that are in the rooms of students, but open to everyone), you don't have to be of-age to imbibe. And you don't have to drive to get home, or at least find a place to crash. In conclusion--it is a rare Rice student who drinks every night of the week (or even most). But the opportunities exist for that. And the seriously party-hardy tend to move off-campus (deep oc) anyway. Rice students definitely fall into three categories: socially inept (especially when it comes to the opposite sex), commitophiles (these usually latch onto a partner freshman year and don't let go, myself included), and commitophobes (these engage in random hookups fostered by too much Shiner and everclear punch).
I'll just answer the prompts on this question (feeling lazy). Every professor I took at Rice knew my name. Even in big intro classes, if you go to office hours or engage in discussions in class, the professor will know your name. It's a very student-oriented school. My favorite class? Impossible! I loved all my Art History courses. Least favorite? I wasn't a huge fan of the poli sci department. Rice students study...a lot. Well, most do. I had friends who studied 5-6 hours a day (and way more before exams). I studied ~2 hours a day (and way more before exams). But I also had friends who seldom studied. It all depends on your program, your desired grades, and your personality. Rice students are competitive. But you won't really see it on the surface. The sugar-coated claws are key! I did spend time with professors outside of class. I would discuss my work with them (Rice profs are very present), and I would consider a few to be friends. I even still see some socially!
The residential college system is mostly positive, but it has some negatives. You have a built-in family and support system. But a lot of people don't become friends who students who aren't in their college. Most students leave their doors open. Some athletic events are popular (baseball), some are not (football). If you don't drink, join the club! There are lots of students at Rice who don't drink. And lots who do. Rice has great traditions: Beer Bike (truly better than Christmas). Jacks (pranks played on other colleges during O-week and Willy Week). NOD (night of decadence). Other residential college parties.
Rice students are all mega-nerds who would rather work on problem sets than have fun. Rice students' interactions with the opposite sex consist of either acting like you're married or random hookups.
An awesome mix of nerds that like to party and celebrate.
An awesome mix of nerds that like to party and celebrate.
Know why you're going to college: to prepare you for a career, to prepare you for grad school, to prepare you for professional school, for the "experience"......that at least narrows down the options.
If you do whatever you're supposed to well, then you should have many (career) options.
Taylor University's improv group
Taylor University's improv group
This is absolutely mind boggling in the sense that I cannot imagine who could have spent all this time doing this.
An architectural tour of Rice University taken during Homecoming Weekend 2006.
Rice University is a school of fraternity without fraternities, a school of learning in and out of the classroom, a school of...
Rice University is a school of fraternity without fraternities, a school of learning in and out of the classroom, a school of living outside the living room, a school of doing more than what needs to be done -- a school perfect for the minds of Generation Y, like me.
These four years are the most important years of your life. They will define your career, your relationships, your future, and most of all, you. You must find the best college that will tailor to specifically you. Your school must provide for your needs: your chosen major, your favorite activities, your beliefs and mantras, your personality, and your freedom. The number one school may not be the best school for you. The most famous school may not be the best for you. The fastest, farthest, or most metropolitan college may not be the best for you. Only you know the best college for you. You must choose the college for you by outlining what you want for your future life. Next, you must research colleges that fit into the categories that you outlined ? do not focus on names and numbers, just focus on you. Narrow down your list to the schools that fill most of your needs and visit them if you can. The visit might change your mind about the school you placed on the back burner. When you do find the school that is for you, take it. You will not regret it if it is your choice.
Rice University is not for those who do not have a strong idea about what they want to do with their future. The school does start students early in their desired major. The school however is flexible in changing majors at any point in the student's college career. The school is welcoming and comfortable but is not all fun and games. The intense focus on selected major is to ensure that students that attend Rice complete their major in the shortest amount of time without jampacking their schedules later in their schooling.
I know a lot of students freak out about colleges a lot in high school, but I was not one of them. I applied where my counsel...
I know a lot of students freak out about colleges a lot in high school, but I was not one of them. I applied where my counselor/parents/friends suggested, pretty much only based on what the weather would be like (I'm from Southern California. Warm climes were a must!) and got in everywhere I applied. Which then led to the problem of picking a place because I honestly didn't really care. I'm not saying that this is for everyone, but I do believe that for a lot of people, the stress is unnecessary. As long as you make the effort, you will meet incredible people, have once-in-a-lifetime experiences (seriously. Some things you'll always look back at and think "only in college..."), and you can be HAPPY no matter where you go. So chill out! Relax and enjoy high school while you can.
Rice's social community is seriously like this wonderful bubble. The hedges surrounding the campus keep us safe from the Real World "beyond the hedges" whether that is having to fend for ourselves and getting jobs or just the every day life that is Houston. Everyone you meet seems and usually is friendly, and the residential college system especially goes a long way in fostering lifelong connections in a way I never would have expected.
This isn't something that would apply to everyone, but I was a dancer in high school and the appallingly low level of students involved in this activity I love so much was really depressing. For a university with such an impressive music school, extracurriculars in the fine arts arena are sadly lacking. Still, it is relatively easy for a determined student to find or start various activities, and even if others are uninterested, our location in the heart of Houston means that (with the help of a car) one can easily find other options in the city.
Rice is paradise for the bright; anyone who has ever had a passion or thirst for any subject, academic or not, will find the ...
Rice is paradise for the bright; anyone who has ever had a passion or thirst for any subject, academic or not, will find the ideal resources and community to live the best years of their life.
Choosing the best college and receiving the greatest benefit from a college education depends on the person. Any college that allows you to pursue your interests can be a good fit as long as you are ready to put into it what you expect to get out of it. Consider colleges not only by their academic record, but also by how close they are to your interests and how much the students enjoy them. While it is important to do well, college should be about learning rather than succeeding. The ideal college is one that piques your interest and provides the means to continue your discovery of self and the world. Making the most of your college experience is as simple as maintaining a positive outlook. This is easiest at a school that suits your tastes and keeps you comfortably challenged, but can be achieved anywhere. Make the most of these years: expand your horizons, try new things. Saying "yes" to new opportunities and stepping outside your old comfort bubble will allow you to discover a wealth of new interests, make many lifelong friends, and redefine who you are.
The only negatives at the school are the sporadic success of the football team and the current widespread construction. Fortunately, the construction runs quickly and will greatly benefit the Rice community when complete. There is really nothing else that can be said against Rice.
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