Rice University Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

jeepers

They are very smart and apply themselves.

stan

They are pretty much as I expected.

Kyle

Rice students are friendly and helpful to one another, and they're always fun to be around.

George

Generally speaking, Rice students are quirky and laid back. There isn't a cut-throat competitive environment here. It's much more collaborative, which is quite refreshing.

Miri

The students at Rice are nonjudgemental and really nice.

Shaurya

The student body at Rice is one of the most diverse of any university in the country. Students come from all over the world and each and every one has unique experiences and characteristics that have shaped Rice's culture into one like no other. Financially, they're all across the spectrum as Rice is indeed expensive but also has a very good financial aid program. Racially, there's a group for every denomination possible and while this helps many retain their culture and share it with the rest of the student body, it is in no way dividing as this diversity has created a very strong culture of acceptance. There are some cliques within campus, however the majority of students have a group of friends that accurately reflects the diversity of the entire campus. Most importantly, nobody can ever feel out of place at Rice. There's a extremely similar friend for everybody and an extremely dissimilar friend that you would never think you would get along with for everybody as well.

Sophie

The student population is quite diverse starting off with having people from all over the world and having different cultures. While most people outside of the university hold the common stereotype that most people who attend are rich this is false and due to the great financial aid there are people from different socio-economic statuses. Most students dress casually for class and have casual interactions with one another. Different types of students interact with one another which is great for intellectual conversation where you can gain different perspectives on issues.

Adam

Students at Rice are awesome! Some might describe them as a unique bunch. Most of us have a unique passion, hobby, or talent. We're okay describing ourself as a little weird...it's normal on campus. Rice students can be serious when they need to (midterms) and crazy when they want to be. The best way to get a feel for the type of students that come here is to come visit. Do it! If you're a senior, stay overnight in a residential college and experience a day in the life of a Rice student. I promise you'll understand what it'll all about afterwards.

Max

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.

Yichen

I think they are smart and warm-hearted people.

Caroline

My classmates are generally very accepting of everyone they encounter; they are inviting and well-meaning but occasionally can be inconsiderate if they don't know someone's situation outside of school, although they don't mean to be.

Kimberly

People at Rice are so different in their interests, cultures, personalities, talents, etc, but everyone has a venue to express/enjoy themselves, from college sports to acapella music groups, cultural festivals to crazy campus traditions (think, world record largest water balloon fight), and everyone is 'smart,' we all came from the top of our highschool classes, but at Rice everyone sort of fans out into their particular nitche.

Kathryn

Students here range from artsy and academically indifferent (minority of students) to academically intense and career-driven (majority of students).

Ariana

People who are incredibly bright, friendly, humble, and hilarious all rolled up into one.

Sofia

Peole I'm grateful to have met.

Rene

Rice students are very studious and serious about their work. That said, many are too serious about partying too. Orientation week can be an opportunity to meet friends that you will have for your entire life, but if you are placed into the wrong orientation group or you don't like the social atmosphere at your "college," you may find yourself feeling isolated and be left without the resources to meet others and make new friends.

Denise

We are not the typical nerds. We are definitely nerdy but we also keep our cool about us. We are fun out going and easy to get along with. Everyone is open to do new and interesting things and everyone is willing to get to help each other out with studying and learning.

Arindam

Everyone is very sociable and concerned in your future.

Emily

Rice students are absolutely unique: conversations can drift from politics to repairing hard drives to Super Smash Brothers to a local indie band in a span of 3 minutes. We are all incredibly driven, talented, and curious individuals. Everyone at Rice is also incredibly friendly! There's a fair mix of people, and you can probably find all types if you look. Some examples of large people-groups on campus are: gamers, the environmentally conscious, religiously affiliated, technophiles, motivated sign-up-for-everything "doers", nerds, and partiers. None of these groups is mutually exclusive, and this yields some amazing people.

Melissa

My classmates are brilliant, motivated, engaged and social individuals.

Andrew

My classmates are brilliant, focused, dedicated, and competitive, yet still friendly and helpful, and also fun, interesting, committed, and involved.

Sarah

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.

Harper

Rice's student body is a mix of personalities, racial groups, religious groups etc. The one thing the student body has in common: everyone is incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Parker

In my experience, different types of students tend to interact quite often at Rice. It's such a diverse place; you're going to have a variety of different people in every part of you life at Rice. Whether socially, academically, or both, I interact with Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, Northerners, Southerners, foreigners, rich kids, poor kids, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics every day.

Chris

Rice's Student Body is great because in general they are very laid back. Regardless of your background, financial situation, religion, political stance, etc you will never feel out of place.

Rox

Rice students are very accepting, kind, and down-to-earth. You won't find that preppy or snobby attitude here. Different religions are not only tolerated but are embraced-- with the curiosity of Rice students, most people just want to learn more about different religions. The dress code to class ranges from pajamas (for the few late comers) to cute dresses (for the few who wake up that early); the majority of students fall somewhere in between, and no one is actually judged based on their appearance in class. You will meet so many people who are different that you simply by looking down the hall! The student body is just so diverse (both ethnically, religiously, regionally, socio-economically) that you can't avoid it. Although statistically the majority of students are from Texas, the people I have met come from all over the world...in fact, the majority of my friends are from Ohio. The campus is more conservative than the average college campus, i would say, but by no means are we Republicans; I would still say that the liberals are more prevalent, but the diversity makes discussions quite interesting.

Elizabeth

The Rice student body is incredibly diverse and generally interesting, but in general I'd say we work hard and party hard. Half the student body is from Texas, but the other half is from all over. As someone from out-of-state, it has been interesting getting to know Texas culture, but I have also met many students from my home state (Maryland) and many international students. Most students are laid-back, wear comfortable clothes to class, and are often politically apathetic. People are generally pretty down-to-earth, and most people mix and mingle. The athletes are one group that often keep to themselves, and certain ethnic groups do form, but in general everyone is friendly with each other. The college system encourages people from all different backgrounds to interact and get to know each other, especially because all freshmen live on campus.

Bryce

Rice is very open. There are religious communities, and LGBT societies. There are political organizations of every strain, and people from every background. I can honestly say that at no time while I was at Rice did I know or care about the political leanings, socio-economic background, future salarly, or any other such aspect of the people around me. People at Rice just don't care. If someone walked into a dining hall and looked at the tables, you'd notice that there just weren't any patterns. If you get into Rice, the other students know you must at least be relatively smart, and that's all that matters. I can't tell you about the demographics at Rice, because in four years of living on campus, I just didn't notice them. And I'd wager that 95% of my classmates didn't either.

Tara

I feel like Rice is really inclusive - we have hundreds of clubs, and if there is not something you are interested in you can start your own club. We are racially diverse, sexually diverse, and accepting of varrying ideas and opinions. Rice is in the South, so it is more conservative than its counterparts in other regions of the country, but liberal for a Southern school. Students have friends in groups around campus and there are not too many cliques. Rice students tend to be friendly, and residential colleges can turn into small communities (for better or worse). If you don't know someone, you know someone who knows them. Very diverse; everyone comes from a different background and has something unique to offer.

Rick

Rice is mostly southern, but there appears to be a decent amount of diversity. Clothing styles vary all over the place. While some kids are social and party a lot, others do little but work or study. Whatever your type, there are students like you at Rice.

Andy

Rice is diverse. They push diversity. Maybe not as diverse racially, but people come from all over the world to go to Rice and many of the people here can speak 2-3 languages fluently. (which is impressive, because my spanish is still struggling) I'm looking at these questions and it says "what do most students where to class" .. that actually depends what time it is. If you have a nine o clock, you will see a lot of sweat pants and no make-up.

Ian

Rice's student body is heterogenous and accepting. Most students wear t-shirts most of the time. Rice is recognized as a school where inter-racial relations are excellent. About half the students are from Texas, and the rest are from around the country (and world). Students are very politically apathetic, and are typically pretty moderate, with a little bit of a libertarian streak.

Jill

The sudent body is not nearly as diverse as Rice promises it to be. Most students, regardless of race, are from upper-middle class backgrounds. No one at Rice is outwardly hostile toward any minority and students are generally tolerant of all sorts of people (people may ignore each other, but no one picks fights). However, I feel like there is a lot of segregation of different groups and that not many groups interact regularly. A lot of students are very sheltered. Coming from a low-income area and household, I found it hard to really connect with a lot of Rice students because they had never experienced the kinds of difficulties that come with such an up-bringing and were completely oblivious to the reality of poverty in any way besides padding their med school resumes. Rice is predominately in the center politically, but people are largely apathetic about politics and unwilling to discuss politics.

Mike

Rice's student body is interesting to say the least. From my own personal experiences, i've had great experiences with race relations and enjoying the company of people of multiple nationalities. In my close group of friends there's a Columbian kid, a black kid, two asian guys, a turkish girl, two white girls and myself, a white male. However, i have heard from other friends that there is less racial interaction at their respective colleges. The one thing about the student body that is seen across the board, is that no one cares about how wealthy you or your family is. No one cares whether you drive a brand new Mercedes or an '89 ford taurus. No one cares if you're on financial aid or if your parents pay for everything. Your wealth, or lack there of, doesn't stop anyone from being your friend.

Jordan

Rice is pretty diverse and there is a great deal of cross-cultural interaction. We are in fact too hypersensitive about politcal correctness and "diversity training." Every opinion has to be respected except the opinion that not every opinion should be respected. During orientation week diversity training, one guy got reamed for asserting that America is the best place to live. Everyone jumped on him "how can you say that? What experience do you have living in other countries?!?!" turns out he grew up in Singapore, studied abroad in Italy, and had just gotten back from a summer in China.

Dawson

I've never seen any evidence of a class divide. The athletes tend to stick together, but most everyone else interacts freely with one another. Students aren't fixated on future income, being more interested in what contributions they'll make.

Charlie

Our campus is a very diverse one. We have alot of ethnic clubs that are not only geared in recruiting student of that ethnicity, but we have alot of other students joining them and even taking officer positions for those clubs. LGBT clubs get alot of recognition too, and they have their annual drag show, which everyone likes to participate in and watch. I feel that any student can find their niche here. Students are usually dressed in jeans and are very casual. Many also look like they've just woken up and are still in their pajamas and brings breakfast to class. Students are not too politically aware or in touch with current affairs. But we have many groups promoting the presidential elections and the Baker institute encouraging students to attend talks.

Aure

Rice students are pretty diverse, racially, religiously, socioeconomically, etc. There are some groups that form around those identifiers, but many more that don't, and given that most of your initial friends are from your college, you'll find it pretty hard to restrict yourself to one of those identifiers. Rice students share the trait of not caring very much what others think of them (or maybe of having fun playing with what others think of them) and wear whatever they want to class. This usually means pajamas. Rice students are politically aware, but not politically active. There is, for most students, a very academic detachment from issues outside the campus, but some students choose to make some causes very personal to them.

Courtney

Rice is incredibly diverse and welcoming. While there is definitely some racial segregation at meal times and in terms of sports participation, no one ever makes racist comments in a serious light. Rice students are primarily middle class, so we don't get a lot of the wealthier snobby kids. I love that academic and extracurricular interests offer the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life who share things in common with me.

Amy

Rice's student body, while not as diverse as the nation at large, is much more diverse than the average upper-tier college. It doesn't have as many LGBT people as would be expected, but those that are there are treated with respect. The people who may feel most out of place at Rice are African-Americans, who often form groups among themselves to gain a sense of community. Racism, however, is not extremely prevalent, especially considering the location of Rice. Half of Rice students are from Texas, the other half from around the nation and world- we have quite a few international students. Financially, many Rice students are upper-class; however, there is an excellent financial aid program at Rice. Many of my friends come from middle or even lower-class socio-economic backgrounds, and do very well. It's a liberal campus, but Republicans are to be found. We are fairly politically aware, but Rice politics tends to overshadow national politics. Money is not often discussed at Rice, but more often funny stories, current classes, or upcoming parties. The student who might feel out of place at Rice would be the student who never relaxes but always studies; living at the library once in a while is fine, but it's important to come out once in a while too!

Phil

There is a huge mix of students at Rice. Recently, the fact the the majority of the black student population is composed of athletes has raised concerns for the acceptance of non athlete black males on campus. But i think this is just a product of Rice students being very activist minded and not having anything better to bitch about.

Brian

I feel Rice has a very diverse campus. Not many people would feel out of place here, except maybe people who don't care about academics at all. Different types of students definitely interact, although sometimes races tend to stick together.

Tammy

I hear that at many other schools there are socioeconomic divisions, and I'm so grateful that people at Rice don't judge based on how much money you have. There are plenty of rich kids, but if you aren't rich it's not a big deal and it doesn't keep you from participating in anything. Students are very politically apathetic. So many Christians! I'm Jewish, and I like Rice Hillel a lot, but at first I was overwhelmed by the incredible number and variety of Bible Study groups around campus. People are generally unconcerned with their appearances, which is good and bad. Good because it doesn't create a shallow atmosphere. Bad, because there are a lot of people who would look so much better if they put more effort into themselves. After the first semester, it is a noteworthy event when you see an attractive person you don't know yet walking around campus.

Sarah

Very diverse. You will meet someone just like you.

Jo

Not really diverse (mostly Caucasion), but everyone is really special in their own way. It's almost surprising to find out how much some students have accomplished. Most people are moderate to liberal, and people are pretty active. They are usually pretty future-orientated. A lot of students are from Texas, but there are still plenty of out-of-state and international students. A crazy, party student may feel somewhat out-of-place, but he can still find his crowd. While we are not as racially diverse, we are very diverse personality-wise. You mostly interact with the people in your college (dorm), but you can still be really good friends with people all around campus. Rice is small enough so that you can walk around and almost always see someone you know.

Liz

Rice University considers itself diverse, and we have lots of groups and organizations committed to promoting diversity and dealing with any diversity issues. However, in actuality, Rice is currently at least half caucasian and a little bit less than half Texan. We do have many East Asian, South Asian, Black and Hispanic students, and more than ten percent (a sizable proportion) of our students are internationals, coming from countries as diverse as India, Lebanon, Brazil, and China. There are clubs devoted to all of these cultures (any students are welcome to join) that put on cultural shows and dances every year. I can't imagine anyone feeling out-of-place at Rice due to either ethnicity or sexual orientation, as the community here is very accepting. We also cover a wide spectrum of political views; Rice is not as liberal as many universities in other states, but I would say we're split fairly evenly between right and left (we have very active Young Democrat and Young Republican clubs), with a large libertarian population. Financial situations really vary, but short of the obviously wealthy students driving BMWs it is hard to tell who is rich and who is poor; Rice's financial aid system is very generous, so sometimes the students who seem to have lots of money to spend actually come from poorer families and simply have been blessed with large aid packages.

Danielle

There is a slight bit of sexism, racism, and homophobia on campus. Although I think people mean well, some ugly, uneducated things are sometimes said or done behind people's backs. Probably not more than at any other private Southern university, however. Incidents are really isolated, but definitely present. Basically, people are good natured and kind, but most of the kids at Rice are rich, privileged, and perpetually surrounded with other rich and privileged people, so they don't understand things like not having enough money to eat out all the time or having to work a part time job to pay for school. I think a scholarship student or someone of a background that falls way outside the norm (wealthy, well-traveled, well-educated parents, white Indian or Asian, straight, etc.) might feel awkward sometimes at Rice, although they make a big deal out of promoting diversity and I think things will only get better over time. Students do come from all over, though, which is interesting: a lot of geographical diversity, so I met people from all over the country. Because of this, there's some political diversity, although not as much as you'd think. Most people here are left-center, and basically apathetic. People talk a lot about politics and current affairs, but no one really DOES anything (with a few exceptions). Some people are totally unaware, while a few political science majors are really into politics, and, for the most part, liberal. People really do focus on what they'll do and what they'll earn in the future, especially once junior and senior year rolls around. If you plan on doing anything other than investment banking, law/med/grad school, or a white house internship, you will feel weird telling people about your plans. I'm going to one of the most prestigious creative writing programs in the country, for free, and I still felt like a slacker talking about my plans. Oh boy.

chris

There are multiple groups or clubs on campus. If you can't find a club for you, you can make your own club. Overall flipflops are the norm, except for labs. Feel free to sit anywhere or strike up a conversation with anyone.

Alex

Rice is not a very racially diverse school. Half of all African-American males are athletes. But what does define Rice is class interaction. It has a very good mix of poor and rich students, which keeps the school from becoming another elitist southern school. The school does not have very good state diversity (half the students are from Texas), which I think hinders Rice's efforts at recruiting. Most students are politically involved, but not actively. We are too far removed from politics, which makes us apathetic. The school is mostly left-sided, but there are still a good number of conservatives.

Carol

Students are badass. Students are from all over the country and are of all different races and ethnicities. It's easy to interact with anyone you want and servery tables have students from all different colleges and grade levels. The college system really promotes interaction between all students and makes getting to know people really easy and fun and extremely unique.

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