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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 — Houston, TX

Rice sees second consecutive year of record-high early applications

Alice Sun / Thresher

By Riya Misra     1/9/24 10:56pm

Rice’s Office of Admissions accepted 15.3% of Early Decision applicants on Dec. 14, 2023. An additional 77 students matched with Rice through the Questbridge National College Match program. With 2,886 applicants, this year marked the second consecutive year of record-high Early Decision applications, surpassing last year’s 2,743.

Regular decision applications, which were due Jan. 4, are also projected to set another record high. Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva said the Office of Admissions currently stands at 32,373 total applications for the Class of 2028, exceeding the previous record high — 31,424, set in 2022 — by 3%. Romero da Silva told the Thresher that the number of total applications is expected to rise slightly as “final applications trickle in.” 

“I just couldn’t believe that I actually got matched to my first choice … It’s absolutely a dream come true,” Gai Van Do, who matched with Rice through QuestBridge, said.

“Before [my acceptance] I was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to college, how are we going to pay for college?’ Do, who is from Elk Grove, Calif., continued. “So QuestBridge [will] really relieve a lot of stress on my financial situation.”

This year saw a similar split between Texas and non-Texas domestic students, representing 39% and 48% of early admits, respectively. International students accounted for the remaining 14%, consistent with last year’s 13%.

Haylee Bo Nguyen, a recent Rice admit from Houston, grew up in the city’s suburbs. A lifelong “shy person,” Nguyen said she applied to Rice to get to know her community better.

“I’m most looking forward to dorming because I’ve been very close-knit with my family all this time. I’ve never had time to myself in a new environment before,” Nguyen said. “I’m kind of excited to learn more about myself and the school and … have my own little freedom.”

Engineering was the most popular discipline, representing 34% of admits, a slight uptick from last year’s 32%. The distribution across schools has stayed consistent since last year, with architecture and business remaining unchanged from their previous 1% and 8% of admits, respectively.

“I really want to explore the [Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen],” Do, who applied to the School of Engineering, said. “They 3D printed an arm for a 5-year-old boy … I know Rice really cares for the community around Houston.”

Both Do and Nguyen shared their excitement about Rice’s social traditions, from Orientation Week to residential college life. 

“I feel like other top schools, they’re pretty competitive … But for me and for my major, which is engineering, which requires a lot of teamwork, I think collaboration is a big part in my success at a university,” Do said. “I talked to a lot of Rice students before I applied and they also made the same point about a community here. Everyone says they want each other to [succeed].”

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