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Rice admits 19 percent of Early Decision applicants to the class of 2024


By Brian Lin     1/14/20 11:46pm

Rice welcomed 385 students into the class of 2024 through the university’s binding early decision program, according to Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva, as well as 55 students through QuestBridge National College Match. This year, Rice accepted around 18.9 percent of the 2,042 applicants on Dec. 12, according to Romero da Silva, a higher percentage of students admitted than last year. 

A total of 440 students were admitted through early decision and QuestBridge, 32 more than the 408 students admitted through these programs last year. This year’s ED admission was also less competitive compared to last year. Around 18.9 percent of ED applicants this year were admitted to Rice, compared to 15.5 percent of those who applied last year. 

Romero da Silva said this year’s ED round may have been less competitive due to the 13 percent decline in ED applications the university received. Compared to the record-high 2,628 ED applications Rice received last year, 2,042 ED applications were submitted this year, according to Romero da Silva. According to Romero da Silva, the number of ED applications at Rice’s peer institutions have also declined, and that the number of applications has grown overall by 30 percent from 2017 to this year. 

“Early decision applications are down [from last year],” Romero Da Silva wrote. “But that’s not surprising given the huge surge in applications last year after the publicity surrounding the introduction of The Rice Investment.”

The Rice Investment had an impact on the number of both ED and regular decision applications Rice received last year. The program, which has been in effect since 2019, waives full tuition for families making under $130,000 and half tuition for families making between $130,001 and $250,000 per year. In the 2019 admission cycle, when The Rice Investment was introduced, there was an increase of 39 percent in early decision applications and a 29 percent increase in applications overall. 

“The Rice Investment continues to be a strong inspiration for many students to apply,” Romero da Silva said. “Anecdotally, many students share that they were inspired to apply because they see a Rice education being affordable for them and their families.” 

Of these 440 students, 44 percent are from Texas, another 44 percent are from elsewhere in the U.S. and 12 percent are international students, according to Romero da Silva. 

“We’re delighted with our early decision and QuestBridge students,” Romero da Silva said. “They represent a broad range of talented scholars from across the country and around the world.”

More than 21 nationalities and dual nationalities are represented among those accepted into the class of 2024 through ED and QuestBridge, according to Romero da Silva. She said that the most heavily represented nations among the international applicants accepted are China, South Korea, Mexico, Japan and Vietnam.

High school senior Jose Oviedo from Waller, Texas, who applied early decision to Rice and plans on majoring in French and neuroscience, credits the Rice Investment for his decision to apply ED, in addition to academic and social aspects of Rice. 

“It really made applying a lot less scary in terms of finances,” Oviedo said. “The people at Rice are so nice and caring. The academics, the research, it all just kind of came together and got me to apply.” 

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