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Sunday, April 14, 2024 — Houston, TX

Newly admitted students met with expansion, support

Ashley Zhang / Thresher

By Brandon Chen and Sarah Knowlton     4/2/24 11:06pm

Jazmin Mendoza, one of the 7.5% of applicants admitted to the Rice class of 2028, fell in love with campus at first sight.

“Since I live in California, I wasn’t really able to go visit a bunch of other colleges out of state. I only visited one college out of state, and that one college was Rice,” Mendoza, a high school senior from Santa Rosa, Calif., said. “I flew to Houston and went to go visit Rice, and I literally fell in love … I’m the first generation in my family to go to college, so it was huge to find out [that I got in].”

Rice admitted 2,439 students from 32,459 applicants March 26, according to Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva. With a 7.5% admit rate, this is the third consecutive year of record-low acceptance rates. The Thresher previously reported 7.7% and 8.56% acceptance rates for the classes of 2027 and 2026, respectively.

This admissions cycle saw 4.5% more applicants than last year’s 31,049. 

Despite shrinking acceptance rates, Rice continues to expand its undergraduate enrollment to a projected 4,800 by Fall 2024 and begins construction of two new residential colleges, which would raise undergraduate on-campus capacity to over 3,500.

Rice has remained test-optional for the class of 2028. 22% of this year’s admitted students did not submit test scores, compared to last year’s 21%. While some universities, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University and Dartmouth College have reinstated test policies, Rice will maintain its test-optional policy for the 2025 application cycle.

“This was another spectacular class for Rice, and the newest admits represent the most selective class in Rice’s history once again,” Romero da Silva wrote in an email to the Thresher.

Aaron Thomas, an admitted student from Houston, said that this selectivity was part of Rice’s appeal for him.

“I applied to Rice because it allowed me to be academically competitive at a top-ranked school while being able to stay home with my family,” Thomas wrote to the Thresher. “I think the admission process was nerve-wracking, however I trusted that I [would] end up wherever God wanted me to go.”

While admitted student Amy Wang said she appreciated the school’s academic rigor, she cited community as a key factor in her decision to apply to Rice.

“Honestly, what intrigued me [about] Rice from the start was its unique way of creating a community,” Wang, a high school senior from McKinney, Texas, wrote to the Thresher. “From the residential college system [to] the stories I’ve heard of students always uplifting and supporting each other, I knew that Rice would be a place where I’d thrive not only academically and career-wise, but also in my personal and social pursuits.”

Houstonian Bailee Byrd echoed a similar sentiment, expressing interest in Rice’s campus culture.

“With Rice, I was really intrigued because of the residential college program and the flexibility of the curriculum process that I wasn’t really seeing with other schools,” Byrd wrote to the Thresher. “After the typical interview process, [the interviewer] took the time to ask me questions about myself, and we even talked about our favorite Taylor Swift songs. I really appreciated the welcoming sense I got before and during my application process, and the support I was provided before I was even accepted.”

More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 4/10/24 12:05am
To bike or not to bike? Beer Bike 2024 sees tents, possible wind

This year’s Beer Bike took place Saturday, April 6. After a seven-minute delay, the alumni races began, followed by the women’s and then the men’s. For the second year in a row, each of the races were divided into two heats. As usual, the times from both heats will be compared, along with calculated penalties, by the Rice Program Council to determine final results. Results are not available at time of publication, and the campus-wide Beer Bike coordinators did not provide a timeline for when they will be.


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