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Friday, March 24, 2023 — Houston, TX

Rice welcomes 1,210 new students with 8.7% acceptance rate


Photo courtesy Ibrahim Elsharkawy

By Maria Morkas     8/23/22 11:44pm

Out of 31,442 applicants, only 8.7% of students were admitted, with a yield of 44%, for a matriculating class of 1,210 students as a part of the Class of 2026 this year, according to Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva. Amid plans of expanding the student body, this serves as a lower admittance rate, in comparison to 9% for the Class of 2025.

“This year 36% of the entering class are from [Texas], 50% are domestic students living outside of Texas and 14% or 167 entering students are foreign nationals,” Romero da Silva wrote in an email to the Thresher. “The international student population represents over 55 different nationalities.”

Romero da Silva said that after Texas, the three most represented states in the matriculating class are California, Florida and New York. 

“Among the domestic incoming student population, 32% represent traditionally underrepresented communities, including 12% who identify as African American, 19% who identify as Hispanic and 1% who identify as Native American or Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander,” Romero da Silva said.

Ayush Suresh, a Lovett College freshman, said he noticed a common drive within the matriculating student body.

“People have things they want, and they want to go after them. I think that’s a very important thing,” Suresh said. “That can really make a good class because everyone has very different goals, and [we’re] willing to support each other for school while also creating a good, fun, safe [and] interesting environment.” 

President Reginald DesRoches said that students choose Rice for their undergraduate experiences to grow both academically and as a person. 

Romero da Silva said the return to in-person Owl Days and Owl Days Express helped students pick Rice after gaining insight into the unique community and culture of the campus. 

“We also maintained a robust offering of virtual programming for admitted students that enabled all to learn about the undergraduate offerings at Rice,” Romero da Silva said. 

DesRoches said that the increased yield of students over the past few years could be attributed to the changes to the Rice Investment.

“This last year by going fully no loan and increasing the income thresholds for the Rice Investment, we continue to make the excellence of a Rice education possible for students from all income levels,” DesRoches said.

Ananya Rao, a Jones College freshman, said Rice’s engineering program was a reason she chose to attend.

“I also picked [Rice] because of the academics. They have a really solid engineering program, which is kind of what I'm looking into,” Rao said. “And I also really liked the fact that [Rice is] really close to a city, which was important to me because I wanted to be able to explore outside of campus as well.”

Romero da Silva said that 10% of the incoming students this year intend to major in business.

“The undergraduate business major opens exciting opportunities for students who want to pursue business but also want the tight-knit collaborative community that Rice is known for,” Romero da Silva said.

Savan Patel, a Wiess College freshman, applied to Rice as a business major and said he was a bit apprehensive about choosing this new program over more established business programs at other universities.

“After O-week, I know that this business school is good … and the undergraduate program is going to provide a lot of great resources that are available for the graduate program,” Patel said. “I hoped it would be similar to the graduate program and what I got from the professors is that it will be.”

Suresh said he appreciated the flexibility that Rice provides in choosing his academic path.

“I kind of know what interests I have, but I wasn't really 100% ready to commit to them yet. So, this gives me the most kind of variety to explore,” Suresh said. “I feel like Rice is a really focused, detail-driven place in terms of its classes. But I also have the flexibility to explore, and I didn't really have to lock myself down like any other opportunity or offers would have made me [do].”

Rao said she picked Rice primarily because of the residential college system and the welcoming community.

“Everyone that I've met has been super nice, and I feel like it's interesting to meet people that are super intelligent but at the same time also emotionally intelligent,” Rao said. “People are never rude. They never say things that are offensive. The type of people that I've met has all been very similar in that way — just very welcoming and warm people.”

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