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Rice is known for its small, tree-filled campus, our baseball team, and its supposed "value" and generous financial aid progr...
Rice is known for its small, tree-filled campus, our baseball team, and its supposed "value" and generous financial aid program when compared to its Ivy League counterparts. In a side note, many students are upset at what they see as Rice's waning commitment to low tuition - something we were previously known for - and for the 2010-11 school year, it cost $48,000 to attend Rice. Administration is raising it (again) for 2011-2012. Before long, Rice is going to be the most expensive University in the US. The joke around campus is that Rice is the Harvard of the South (or Harvard is the Rice of the North), and to an extent that is true. Other than Vanderbilt University, Rice is the highest ranked school in the South, and students are very proud of that here. We're prestigious but not pretentious. We like it that way. And from a little more official standpoint, Princeton Review has ranked Rice as #1 in best quality of life and #10 in happiest students. I attribute a lot of this to our great weather - just last week (in February), our entire dorm went outside to tan or play frisbee because it was so nice out. One of the reviewers described Rice as a bubble. That is a great word to describe the University's students. Rice is a small piece of land right in the middle of Houston. Rice gives every student a free pass to everything around us (Houston's many Museums, Zoo, etc), but no one takes advantage of it. Not many people have automobiles here (parking costs are high) so true off-campus activity is rare, but Rice is surrounded by walkable (or Light Rail accessible) areas. Rice provides its students with a Metro-pass that allows us to use the Houston Metro and Houston Light Rail free (which conveniently has a stop at Rice) so we can explore the city of Houston. On Saturday night, the University closes its cafeterias to force kids to go out and try some off campus food. If you don't want to travel that far, Rice Village is a 5 minute bike ride away and has shops and tons of food options. Hermann Park which houses the Houston Zoo (free to Rice students!) is a small walk across the street. The Houston Galleria, a jumbo mall with stores ranging everywhere from Gucci and Neiman Marcus to Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie is a 15 minute bus ride (Rice has its own busing system too). If you need some snacks, Rice has a Target shuttle that runs daily. In Houston, everything is really at your fingertips. Houston is a really weird city. So many different sections make up Houston that it's kind of like a combination of 10 different cities. You've got the artsy Museum District (where Rice is at), hip Montrose area, high-end shopping in Highland Village, ritzy Bellaire, downtown, uptown, and everywhere in between. On the rare day you aren't swamped with homework, it's been really awesome to go explore the city even though I'm from here! I just wish more students would too. Facilities are top-notch but for dorms it really depends on what college you are in. All of the serveries are the same and food quality is better than you would expect (but certainly not great). Fresh fruit and tender meats can be difficult to get (I personally cannot eat the steak), but there desserts are always impressive (I had a tiramisu cake that was just as good as Houston's best Italian restaurant's). Once in awhile interesting options pop up to complement the Chicken Nuggets, french fries, and hot dogs. Just the other day, we we offered Octopus Soup and bacon-wrapped Rabbit. Rice landscapers are always working to clean up leaves/mow grass and our campus always looks great. We've also got wifi on 100% of the campus, and students take advantage of it when they want study outside. Rice also just opened up its new student center/rec which is the best gym I've seen on a college campus. All machines have a built in TV in them, there's a heated "relaxation" pool designed to make you feel like you're at a resort (complete with palm trees), and free equipment rentals for things like tennis, squash, or racquetball. We've also got a lot of "quads" for students just to lounge around and study. Just the other day, I witnessed a Yoga class by the student center. Students stop in the student center to buy a coffee or drink (we've got a Smoothie King and our Brochstein Pavilion restaurant on campus) and sit around Rice to study. Rice has thousands of trees all over campus (students say there is a tree for every student) including tons of old, massive live oaks. There are so many trees that you often forget you are in a city. Because Rice is so small and walkable, students are not allowed to drive to class (there's no parking spots anyway). We've also got some awesome buildings that personally remind me of old Europe.
Everyone at Rice (even the athletes which have an unfair reputation of being, let's just say, less intelligent than the rest of the student body) is unbelievably smart and has worked their butt off to get where they are. Discussions in classes are robust, and the diverse student body (we've got kids from China to Italy and everywhere in between)ensures that there will be an interesting perspective on issues. Kids here turned down offers from the best schools in the country (common rejected schools include Vanderbilt and Northwestern but some Rice students turned down the Harvards and Stanfords which is a testament to how great Rice really is), and its really cool to study among some of the smartest kids in the world. You can find any group you want on campus. Every religious group, every skin color, every socio-economic group can be found at Rice. It's really that diverse. No one would feel uncomfortable at Rice. Although Rice is so diverse, some groups segregate themselves together. Asians (especially those from China) have a group to themselves and can be seen speaking only Chinese on campus. Athletes stick together. Blacks gravitate towards each other. I can't fault anyone for this (you hang out who you are comfortable with), but what I just wrote is a generalization. Students of all different backgrounds hang out, study, eat, etc with each other. No matter what color, ethnicity, religion, whatever you are, you can fit in at Rice. About 50% of Rice students are from Texas but every state in the United States is represented here. We also have kids from China, Thailand, Spain, the UAE, and even the Virgin Islands. Students don't dress up to class. It's 1000X more likely for the girls to be in pajamas than in dresses. There is the Ralph Lauren, Sperry-wearing set but they are highly underrepresented. No one cares about your brand of clothes. If they are clean (and even if they aren't), they are good enough for most Rice students. Like I said above, most Rice kids are solidly middle-class (the ones who have some financial aid but not all). While they are not poor, most students don't have money to spend on expensive clothes or restaurants. In fact on Saturday night (where all of Rice's serveries close to encourage students to explore Houston), it can be a challenge to find people to out to a restaurant other than Smashburger or Chick Fil-A. Your parents money doesn't matter all that much at Rice. People don't judge you if your poor or rich. Rice students are so insular (aka they never leave campus!) and poorly dressed that it can almost be hard to distinguish the rich from the not. Many students need extra spending money and hold on-campus jobs (which are guaranteed for students on financial aid). I've heard that having a job at Rice is hard because of the continual barrage of homework we receive. As a Political Science major (and a conservative), I can accurately say the majority of Rice University students have left-of-center political beliefs. Nearly all students are politically apathetic though and you have to question them to gauge their political beliefs. Rice is nowhere near as liberal as the Northeastern schools (we are in Texas after all), but Rice is definitely more left-wing than its Southern location would suggest and even more left-wing than its Democratic-leaning Houston location.
I love Rice and never regret coming here. We've got an amazing dorm culture, small size, and a beautiful campus with 100-year old buildings. Some of our Professors are famous and their research is being used all over the world. Rice students do live in a bubble, yes. You have to push most of them to get "beyond the hedges" and many students are much more academically focused than socially focused. That's Rice. Something that I've got to mention is a few of our traditions. Rice's biggest tradition is Beer Bike, a day in the Spring where every student on campus wakes up at 5AM to cheer their college on in a University-wide competition. The week that leads up to Beer Bike is called Willy Week (after our founder, William Rice) where colleges play "jacks" (Ricespeak for pranks) against each other. Willy Week is nothing less than a pump-up week. All the colleges blast loud music, have special events, and college pride shoots through the roof. Each college has a team that chugs beer (chuggers) and then rides bikes (bikers) around a specially built campus track. At the end of it all, we have a campus-wide water balloon fight. We're such a small school that we can actually do things like that. We've also got the infamous Baker 13. On the 13th and 31st of every month, an adventurous group of students run around campus to each college completely naked with cans of shaving cream. When they come to your college, you throw water balloons at them. The goal of the naked runners is to get inside your college and spray shaving cream everywhere. You wouldn't expect a small, southern school to do this, but we certainly do. I love Rice and never regret coming here. We've got an amazing dorm culture, small size, and a beautiful campus with 100-year old buildings. Some of our Professors are famous and their research is being used all over the world. Rice students do live in a bubble, yes. You have to push most of them to get "beyond the hedges" and many students are much more academically focused than socially focused. You should expect that given our ranking and reputation. But we know how to party and drink. Like what seems to be every elite college's motto, Rice's motto is Work Hard, Play Hard. If you think about it, it fits us though.
Some of them are. I'll try to break it down. Smart: Everyone at Rice is smart. End of story. Anti-social: Too an extent there are anti-social people here as there are at any University. Some kids only appear at mealtimes and never participate in college events. Studying overwhelms their life, and they never come out of their room. They are definitely in the minority however, and there is a push at Rice to get you out of your shell and make friends. Upperclassmen go out of their way to include freshmen in activities and out-to-eat trips. Strange: Yes. Rice has a reputation for its quirkiness, and it's definitely true. It's hard to describe though but the strange aspect of Rice is definitely present. Asian: We get a lot of jokes because of the name of our University and its over-represented Asian population. Yeah we've got a lot of Asians. They're smart. So is Rice. It fits. Diversity wise, Rice is a lot like its Ivy League counterparts. Whites make up 50% while the other half is minorities. Race relations are quite good (everyone brings different experiences to the discussions), but Rice is underrepresented by Blacks and Lations. The Admissions Office is working on this however. Wealthy: Depends on who you're looking at. The cost to attend Rice for 2010-2011 was around $48,000. The Administration just announced another tuition/room and board increase and for 2011-2012 the cost to attend Rice will approach $50,000. The continual tuition increases are annoying because they are taking advantage of the students who do pay full tuition (the Administration seems to justify the hikes because the one "rich" group can afford to pay more, and then they raise the rates). Yet in spite of the high cost, Rice is a solidly middle class school. Rice has excellent financial aid packages to subsidize the tuition of students who cannot afford the cost. There are students from lower-class backgrounds and students from upper-middle class backgrounds. The number of upper-class "rich" students may be less than at Harvard, but they are definitely still present. It's just as common to see new BMWs and Land Rovers as older, more mainstream cars in the parking lot (although that may be because our parking is so expensive).
Rice divides its classes into three basic categories: D1 (Humanities), D2 (Social Sciences), and D3 (maths and sciences). D stands for distribution. To graduate, Rice has distribution requirements to ensure that you are "well rounded" in all the subjects. For example, my major is political science, a D2. To graduate, I will have to take 12 credit hours (normally four classes) in D1 and D3 classes. The math and science majors complain a lot about distribution because their majors have harsher requirements. For comparison's sake, Political Science is very lenient about required credits and there is a lot more choice for electives than other majors allow. However classes are seriously difficult. Most students here were top of their high school class and quite a few of them are struggling to maintain even a B average. Grading is curved and it takes a bunch of work to get an A. The amount of homework assigned is sometimes unreasonable and whenever exam time comes along, students withdraw into their rooms or library to study. Again, the amount of homework is ridiculous. As a freshmen, I have classes that assign 200 pages of reading a week. Balancing homework is difficult for all majors, and many students think that in Rice's continual quest to be comparable to the Ivy League colleges, they assign more work (apparently more work = better school). There is definitely a lot of pressure to succeed here, and some students don't even eat meals in the cafeteria because they are too busy studying. Studying definitely will take up a majority of any student's time at Rice, but students are not outwardly competitive. Students are friendly and helpful, and it's definitely common to see late-night study groups cramming before the big midterm. Class size honestly depends on the major and the year you are. Engineering/science students have it the worst. My roommate is a pre-med major and his intro Chemistry, Biology, Anatomy, etc classes have over 80 students in them (he describes them as "typical lecture hall classes"). My largest class has been an Intro to Sociology course which had 80 students in it. The luxury of Rice, however, is that these large classes don't last long. Keep in mind that I'm a freshman and one of my classes has 4 people in it. You definitely wouldn't find that at a state university. Rice prides itself on its (I believe) 5:1 student faculty ratio, and it is a great way to build relationships with your professors. Even the professors of our large classes encourage the students to come to their office hours, and I've never had any difficulty talking with a professor about the class/assignments.
Sports are one of the more disappointing things about Rice. Students rarely go to games (even baseball where Rice is nationally ranked), and it gets disheartening to see your football team lose nearly every game. Sometimes I wish Rice was more like state schools with regards to sports culture. We don't have tailgating and there isn't a lot of Rice sports pride. Our extracurriculars are actually pretty lame. Rice students spend so much time studying that they rarely have any extracurricular activities. The University encourages us to do things (we've got a ton of clubs/organizations, intramural sports, and opportunities to be part of your college's Cabinet) but it often times falls on deaf ears. Classes are just more important than extracurriculars. Where Rice stands out is in our dorm culture. Rice has 11 residential colleges which you are randomly sorted into your freshman year (think Hogwarts and their four houses). You remain in your college all four years. As you can imagine, all your parties, socializing, and eating basically occurs within your college, and colleges stick to themselves. In addition, there are huge disparities between college facilities. Baker College for example has its students live in a small room and use community bathrooms while the newer Duncan College has spacious suites with a private living rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Luck of the draw I guess. You really can't underestimate the pride one develops for your college though. Each college has its own cheers, history, infamous reputation, dorm culture, parties, and facilities. Whatever college you are put in, you're going to be happy simply because it is YOUR college and your college is the best. No matter what. You wouldn't think of Rice as a party school but we are Texas's only wet campus, and alcohol flows freely. There is a lot of peer pressure to drink and it's actually encouraged by Rice who often times provide alcohol to minors. Our campus police turn a blind eye to this. I personally think that in high school a lot of the students didn't drink. At Rice (when alcohol is everywhere and anywhere), they go crazy. It is common to see vomit in your lobby and bathroom on the weekend. Some kids just can't control themselves. Even our administration is taking notice of this. Alcohol poisoning and hospitalization cases are incredibly high, and colleges were recently put on "hard-alcohol probation." Even with that probation, the booze is still available to those that want it.
Some common stereotypes of Rice students are that we are smart, anti-social, strange, Asian, and wealthy.
The orientation for freshman and first-time transfer students at the beginning of a new semester is awesome. I do not think t...
The orientation for freshman and first-time transfer students at the beginning of a new semester is awesome. I do not think that any other school could have offered an experience that could compare to it. It was that great. We spent a week getting to know people and playing games. They gave us a family and friends before the school year started. This orientation happens right before school starts and I feel that it is better when it is done this way. It was one of the most exciting times of my life.
I have learned a lot about myself and other cultures. I have been able to decide on a major and set it. The people at Rice University are there for each other. If you need something there will be someone to help you. I gained valuable relationships. Relationships that will help shape me as a person. When you have a support system it is harder to give up and just stop and say I cannot do it. There is always someone there to tell you that you can and to motivate you to keep pushing on. I have figured out that everyone is intelligent in there own ways. Some are a little more intelligent than others. College and high school are two very different things. It is a huge spatial jump. I have gotten life experience that I can pass on to my friends that are getting ready to enter college. This way they can be more readily prepared than me. I hope they receive a support system like the one I have. However if they do not, then I can be theirs. My support system can hold me while I hold them.
I wish that I would of known how serious the workload and the courses are at the university. I knew that it was a top school, but I do not feel that I was prepared or well equipped to handle the courses that I took the first semester. They delve straight into subjects you have never taken before and that you have no prior knowledge in and they don not slow down. I wish that I would have been prepared to be shocked and amazed and terrified at the level this school is at.
My college experience has shown me how responsible I've become and has increased my knowledge of real-world things. It has be...
My college experience has shown me how responsible I've become and has increased my knowledge of real-world things. It has been very valuable to attend because as a young adult I am transitioning from depending on my parents to depending on myself. College has helped me do this. In regards to school, I rely on myself to decide what classes I should take. This transition is making me make more life decisions that I usually would rely on my parents to make.
Rice is truly a school where students live by the phrase "work hard, play hard."
Rice is truly a school where students live by the phrase "work hard, play hard."
Here at Rice, I have made connections that will last a lifetime, no matter what direction I choose to go with my degree. These connections are with professionals, professors, classmates, and world leaders. My education is beyond the classroom; I'm learning how to work in the world, and above all, I'm learning how to live.
I love the residential college system. You get close to a small but diverse group of students - quite literally your "family" for your college life. Each college also has a group of university, community, and alumni associates, which serve as a great resource for academic advising, professional development, and personal support.
Some of the best friends Ill ever make in my whole life.
Some of the best friends Ill ever make in my whole life.
The building in which I live is the oldest dorm in Rice University, and you can really tell that time has taken a toll on the building. Other than that, there's nothing wrong with Rice at all. Seriously, Rice is perfect
A person who is very interested in joining a fraternity or sorority, because at Rice instead of greek life, there is the residential college system.
Nothing much about it is unique. All the colleges are the same with different benefits. I personally do not find anything un...
Nothing much about it is unique. All the colleges are the same with different benefits. I personally do not find anything unique, but different yes.
I would advise myself to keep working harder and that college is no walk in the park. Not to slack off on things just cause they are easy and always accept the extra work, cause the more practice, the easrier the classes will be. Take more notes and what goes on, cause they will be needed. Start waking up earlier and make sure that the work is completed before I begin recreational activities because a lot of time is needed for the work. A lot more reading is needed, and more practice. Other than that, the transtition is not that much.
Anyone who is willing to do the work and is committed to attending the class. People that will just goof around will not be too successful. The classes are fun, but commitment is a must.
?Let me out of here!? I yell to my seventeen-year-old self from within a dark closet. The door slowly opens, revealing my you...
?Let me out of here!? I yell to my seventeen-year-old self from within a dark closet. The door slowly opens, revealing my younger-self peering warily at me, heavy textbook in hand to beat the intruder - me. I cannot blame her for being cautious because I, too, would feel unnerved if I heard my own voice from a closet. My purpose for being here is to advise my younger-self about college. There is much to tell about the hard adjustments ahead, but I will only ease the passage ? not make the difficulties go away. The most valuable advice I have is to expect the unexpected; as a college student, I have experienced moments that have shaken me ? first time to truly have difficulties in academics and first time to not have my strong support system surround me. It is important to not be so comfortable when entering college; do not think that this will be a continuation of success in high school. College takes a lot more hours of work and studying; it breaks your self-confidence, but you just need to persevere. Younger-me looks intently at me; I take a breath and begin my story.
Rice accepts a diverse range of people from all over the world, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be here. A person who is not willing to keep up a strong work ethic and maintain discipline should not attend Rice; also, someone who is not willing to keep an open mind regarding new ideas or cultures would not be recommended to attend Rice.
The worst thing about my school is the lack of options for a meal plan. Currently, Rice offers one meal plan for all students: 19 meals per week - 3/day on weekdays and 2/day on Saturdays and Sundays. As a person who likes to explore a city and discover new restaurants, it would be nice to have an option for fewer meals per week because I would be able to go out to restaurants in the area and not feel guilty about spending money on a meal that I have previously paid for on campus.
It's June 6, 2009, and there's a pool party in celebration of tomorrow's graduation. A girl rides around on her boyfriend's b...
It's June 6, 2009, and there's a pool party in celebration of tomorrow's graduation. A girl rides around on her boyfriend's back laughing and smiling, but she's really thinking, "It will never be like this again." That girl is me, and I know exactly what she's thinking. She thinks all her new classmates will be smarter and better than her, they won't. She thinks classes will be too hard for her to do well in, they won't; that she will never get sleep or have time for fun, she will; that she will never talk to her mom anymore, she definitely will; that her and her boyfriend will never make it work, they will; that she is going to gain the Freshman 15, she won't; that she may not like Rice after all, turns out, she will love it. Just as I am about to tell her these secrets and give her some peace of mind, I turn away. These fears, these pre-college jitters are all a part of the journey, they give meaning to all that you experience and discover, and I would never take that away from myself.
After attending Rice University for a year and a half, I have accumulated numerous pieces of wisdom and learned so much about...
After attending Rice University for a year and a half, I have accumulated numerous pieces of wisdom and learned so much about the college experience. The most valuable piece of advice I would give myself would be to take my time and ease into college courses slowly. Four years is plenty of time to take all of the required courses so there is no reason to try to rush into many difficult classes the first semester of college. There are so many other social, emotional, and personal changes taking place during the transition to college that nobody needs the added stress of a difficult courseload at the very beginning. My first year of college I thought I was prepared to jump a full courseload and skip some of the introductory classes. However, I very quickly discovered that courses in college are more difficult and require more time than those in high school. Fortunately, I realized this early in my first semester and was able to make the necessary changes to prevent a complete meltdown. I dropped one of my more time consuming courses, but I wish I had known this information before even signing up for my classes.
The best thing about Rice is the sense of community and acceptance by members of the community. The campus is very diverse and most people are very friendly. Unlike a lot of other schools there isn't racial tension. Also, there aren't really any snobby, rich students who like to make it known how much money they have.
People who are afraid of doing a lot of school work shouldn't come here since the courses can be very demanding. Also, people who are not accepting of those who are different from themselves shouldn't come here since the student body is very diverse.
My school is best known for cutting-edge engineering and nanotechnology research. We get grants and awards for our work in n...
My school is best known for cutting-edge engineering and nanotechnology research. We get grants and awards for our work in nanotechnology and I've had classes with professors considered to be the leading innovators in nanotechnology. The school of engineering is very large, but doesn't overwhelm the other academic disciplines in my mind. Socially, we're known for our residential college system that greatly encourages students to make friends with all kinds of people.
If I could give any advice to my senior high school self, I would say don?t worry. When you?re applying to colleges, you are under a lot of pressure and you might forget the goal. College is a wonderful next step after high school. Life will be different, but you?ll adjust. You are admitted to a school because the admissions staff believes you will fit in. You might seem out of place at first, but everyone does. That?s what happens when you go somewhere new. Everyone is adjusting to everything at the same time. The people in your dorm are all learning to live on their own, but you will also all learn to live with each other. The workload might be different from high school but colleges don?t let in unprepared students. All the other freshmen will adjust with you. Finally, you might have a detailed plan of how you think life will be in college. You might not end up following it. Don?t worry. No one has their life planned out by senior year of high school. Just go with what feels right. It seems to all work out in the end.
It's a random complaint, but we don't really have any night life during the week. More annoyingly, you can't buy food after 11 unless you want to go to the pub. It's not a big deal, but considering that many students stay up late for social or academic reasons, not being able to get food late at night is a bit of a problem. Fortunately, the administration is looking into opening a late-night cafe.
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