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Sunday, May 19, 2024 — Houston, TX

Christy Leos


NEWS 4/7/15 3:59pm

Admission rate decreases slightly for Class of 2019

Rice University acceptance letters have been distributed and the campus is gearing up for the roughly 2,600 students invited for Owl Days. For the Class of 2019, there were 17,900 applications, and Rice admitted around 14.7 percent, according to Chris Munoz, vice president for enrollment.Munoz said that determining the exact admission rate is currently in preliminary stages and that the exact number of students attending Rice will not be known until May.“Why [the admittance rate] could change is related to if we elect to take anyone off the waitlist,” Munoz said.Students admitted through the regular decision process may decide before May 1 to attend a different university, and some waitlisted students may decide not to accept a Rice admission offer. Munoz said his office refers to this as the “summer melt process.”“[The admission rate] could go up higher, but again this is speculation because we don’t know of how many students we’ve admitted up to May 1 who are going to make a commitment,” Munoz said.Munoz said each year’s class to excel more than the last. “We’re attracting incredibly well-qualified students,” Munoz said. “The students who are applying to Rice, their qualifying academic records in terms of their grade performance, the rigor of the courses they’ve taken and their test scores are just breathtaking. As a future alum, you want each class behind you to be better than you were because this only raises the value of your degree.”Rice’s admission rate has decreased over the last couple of years, according to Munoz.“Our admit rate over the last eight years has gone from around 25 to 26 percent, down to a low 15 percent and that includes even the fact that we were growing,” Munoz said.Recently, Rice was listed at 29th in desirability in the 2015 Top 100 Colleges by Student Choice, a report by GradReports that considers only acceptance and enrollment, or yield, rate. Last year, Rice had a yield rate of 37.9 percent when 978 of 2,581 accepted students chose to attend.“Anytime Rice is put in favorable light … adds to increasing the perception of the quality and [desirability] of a Rice degree,” Munoz said. “However, U.S. News has the most recognition for its university rankings.” McMurtry College senior Grant Patterson said he didn’t give rankings much weight. “When I was looking at schools, I wasn’t really looking at anything besides the U.S. News rankings, and even then, I was skeptical of rankings in general,” Patterson said. “I was more concerned with visiting the school and whether I could picture myself there.”Patterson said school prestige, if not at the top, didn’t mean much.“A school is either prestigious or it’s not, and the rankings don’t really matter,” Patterson said. “Rank 17th or 10, it doesn’t really matter.”The Student Admission Council aids the Rice Admission Office in recruitment and yield events, SAC director Timothy Chang said. The SAC works to promote Rice, answer questions and help prospective students decide if Rice is the best fit for them.“SAC members serve as ambassadors for Rice both on and off campus through a variety of mediums,” Chang, a Baker College junior, said.


NEWS 3/14/15 6:50am

Course to provide physician shadowing opportunities

 For undergraduate students considering a future in medicine, the application process and requirements for medical school can be daunting. A new course is currently being developed, which will have Rice students shadow physicians at Methodist Hospital and will be offered next year to help those going through the process.Gia Merlo, the new Vice Dean for Health Professions, said the course comes from a task force she created to strengthen the affiliation between Rice and Methodist Hospital to provide opportunities for students pursuing medicine. “Students will shadow physicians at Methodist and will attend a didactic component that places emphasis on professionalism, ethics [and] reflection on the shadowing experiencing,” Merlo said.According to Merlo, the program’s first goal is to develop an intensive physician shadowing program available exclusively to Rice undergraduate students, beginning in fall 2015. This new course will provide students considering the medical field an assortment of 25 physicians to shadow. The three-credit course will include three to four hours of shadowing and one to two hours of coursework and reflective seminars per week. Currently, the course has 164 slots for undergraduate students. In order to gauge student interest, Merlo’s team sent out a poll, which received 246 responses. The details of the program’s shadowing structure are still being finalized.Merlo said the mission of the program is not to increase the number of medical school applicants accepted, but to enhance the students’ experiences and help them determine if a medical profession is the right fit.“Medical education is undergoing a major transformation for the first time in over 100 years,” Merlo said. “Historically, the focus of medical colleges was almost exclusively on science competencies. Now, the new holistic approach includes focusing on understanding human behavior and the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population.” The medical school application process requires more than just research and a strong GPA, and applicants’ lack of clinical exposure and reflection of experiences is noticed during the interview process, according to Merlo.Christian Capo, a Jones College freshman looking to go into medicine, said he was eager for the new course, but was doubtful he would be able to register for it.“I think more courses should have [a reflective aspect], as it lets students think personally about their courses,” Capo said. “I just fear that the course would be too heavily desired and that many won’t be able to get [medical] perspectives.”The Rice Premedical Society currently runs Doctors Offering Shadowing Experience, a student-run program that connects select RPMS members with a physician willing to be shadowed. Merlo said the new course would provide shadowing opportunities to more students.“Last year, [DOSE]  had over 150 applications and only were able to match about 20 students,” Merlo said. “Therefore, the program was not very effective recently.”DOSE co-coordinator Caroline Zhu said the new course originated from and will replace DOSE.“We were notified last semester that the university would take over the shadowing program and build formal affiliation with hospitals so that eventually all interested students can get spots,” Zhu, a Martel College junior, said. “Now the shadowing course has a different format than DOSE, so essentially DOSE doesn’t exist anymore. We already handed over all DOSE information to Dr. Merlo, and are currently assisting her in planning the shadowing course next year, along with the task force.”