The best thing about Rice is the name. Its like buying Gucci over Walmart. Well Harvard is Gucci, Rice is more like Banana Republic. Employers and graduate schools recognise the name, which makes you look better than others in the pack. Also its got amazing financial aid for those who need it. There are also a plethora of scholarships that are specific to the school, but as a warning most of those go to the pre-meds and engineers, the same kids over and over who have amazing gpas and teachers in their back pockets.
The best thing about Rice is the college system. It is similar to the Greek system but without the fees. The college system allows a random assortment of students, of all areas of study, to live together in their "college" or dorm for their entire undergraudate career. This way, you become part of a unique community and you get to know a good number of people really well. You still have many opportunities to meet people from the other 10 colleges but it is nice to know you have a family to come "home" to.
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.
The residential college system is one of our greatest assets. It provides a unique microcosmic glimpse of the university, and makes the school feel smaller and more closely-knit. I also am very appreciative of the independence the university's administration gives students. Each of the residential colleges is self-governed and the administration trusts us to maintain order among ourselves.
I think the best thing about our school is the fact that everyone is so helpful and friendly. People help each other on problem sets and studies and you can trust people to turn in your homework for you withotu worrying about sabotage like other schools of the same caliber. Also, the no-cheating policy at our school is also wonderful in that it enforces professor-student trust.
The residential college system that creates a bond that is unbreakable. Orientation week is coordinated by each college and it was the start of an incredible first year at college. My transition was smooth and my memories are countless. Rice University is equal on an academic level to Harvard but with the relaxed atmosphere of UCLA. There is no place like Rice University.
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.
The people at Rice are great and diverse. Education is flexible: majors and schools is left undeclared until second semester of sophomore year, it is easy to double major, and a pass/fail option is available in case you want to explore around before you commit to anything. Houston weather is great for most of the year.
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.
The residential college system (think like Harry Potter housing, minus the personality quiz) allows for an automatic home and community for students. This allows for a great college experience both socially and academically, for you automtically have friends, as well as people to study with.