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).
Since Rice is a small school with few alumni, several stereotypes about "Rice students" remain, despite the diversity (by every measure) of the student body. Many Rice students are brilliant. Most of my friends also turned down schools such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton. Of all universities, Rice frequently has the largest percentage of its incoming class named National Merit Scholars. As with any institution, there are also mediocre students. Rice tends to be politically more apathetic than some other campuses, although there is a strong environmental awareness. The focus is academic for most students. There are several active religious and secularist groups on campus, but they're very tolerant of each other (the Jewish and Muslim groups have worked together to co-sponsor events).
Mostly. The residential college system allows for free-flowing into and out of campus-wide parties and private parties, allowing anyone, no matter who you are, to join in on the activities. Rice students typically may not sound excited about what they do simply because there is so much that they have to do, but they actually like it so much that many start their own organizations and join existing clubs that involve their majors. As for freeloading, Rice sponsors many free events with free food, free prizes, and you're free to come no matter who you are, and Rice students definitely take advantage of this free-dom.
In some ways. Rice is full of very motivated, smart people, but we are not what I would call classic "nerds". Most of us chose Rice over Ivy Leagues and schools of a similar nature because in addition to being smart, we are quirky; we are individuals who are crazy and inventive as well as smart. Our biggest event of the year is Beer Bike, so it is true that alcohol is available, but that doesn't mean we are always drinking. Partying is an option, but definitely not required.
Yes, for sure some are correct. But not all of them. Each student, like any other school, must decide for his or her self what he/she believes and will do with his/her life. A school does play a large role in molding and shaping character and preparing a person for the future, but it's not just the school that does the job. It matters how much effort the student puts forth, how strong he is in his character, etc.
Maybe for some people, but not completely. Rice students are often quirky and interesting, but usually much more normal than you would think. They definitely are not outcasts from the socially "normal" world, but are more intellectual - there's a different kind of humor and conversation.. usually a very good thing.
In some ways yes. There may be a certain level of social immaturity on campus, but it isn't alway present. People do work, but not everyone is a workaholic. People like to party, but again there is quite a variety. I think overall the average person is rather similar: Smart, driven but not psycho, nice.
Although Rice does have a great engineering school and a large portion of the students are engineering majors, Rice also has a prestigious music school (with one of the best student orchestras in the nation), a fabulous architecture school, and all-around strong academics in almost all departments.
No, and yes. Rice has a unique atmosphere that encourages both hard work, and hard play. Though Rice is a very hard university, the residential college system, along with the general personality of Rice Students, makes it so pretty much everyone has a great time.
To some extent, yes. There are a lot of very awkward and introverted students who rarely leave their rooms. But there is also a large population of extremely outgoing, friendly, and interesting people. These are the students that truly define what Rice is about.