Rice University is a private university located on a 300-acre campus in Houston, Texas.
Passionate about teaching, undergraduate research, and leadership development, students at Rice can choose from over 50 majors.
Established in 1912, Rice University has been highly ranked among colleges since its founding. Currently ranked #5 for Best Value Schools and #17 overall among National Universities by US News and World Report.
After admission to Rice, students are strategically placed in one of 11 residential colleges.
These colleges are intended to offer smaller communities and a place for students to deeply connect with their peers through social, athletic, and recreational events.
Placement in a residential college helps students connect, whether or not they compete in one of 14 NCAA Division 1 athletic team, share a major, or come from similar backgrounds.
While students may find it difficult at other universities to form friendships outside of their majors or extracurricular activities, the community is first-nature to students at Rice University.
Residential college communities allow students to meet and interact with peers they may otherwise not meet on campus. Students are part of these communities their full time at Rice and develop strong bonds that may last a lifetime.
These communities are intentionally diverse, filled with a variety of majors, backgrounds, and interests so that students are encouraged to develop camaraderie and connection.
These communities are self-governed with a variety of rich traditions, architecture, and residence halls, giving a unique experience compared to other institutions.
This experience is why 75% of undergraduate students at Rice choose to live on campus and be heavily involved in the culture of their residential college.
With their strong academics, collaborative residential college communities, and dedication to meeting 100% of student’s demonstrated financial need loan-free, it’s no wonder 97% of first-year students return to Rice every year.
Rice offers an early decision process each year for students interested in attending this prestigious university. This process is binding, so it is perfect for students strongly interested in Rice University.
Read on to see why Rice University, specifically its early decision (ED) admission program, is a great choice for any first-year college applicant looking for tremendous, prestigious education.
Rice Early Decision Acceptance Rate
The acceptance rate for Rice University early decision applicants is 18%.
This is a marked increase over the regular decision admission rate of 9%.
Of the 2,634 early decision applicants to the class of 2025, 478 were offered admission.
Whereas the regular decision applicants totaled 26,909 with only 2,324 being offered admission.
Early decision, for the right student, is clearly the way to go.
The early decision application should be the only ED application a student submits, so it is only for students who think Rice is their number one choice.
Students who apply in early decision should consider Rice their absolute top choice and be ready to commit if they are accepted.
Some students may choose to submit additional (non-binding) applications to other schools, but must withdraw those applications if admitted to Rice.
All applications to Rice go through an evaluation process to select students with substantial academic achievement, leadership, and interest in improving their communities.
This evaluation looks at various factors beyond just the student’s educational history.
Rice ED Decision Date
Students who apply to Rice University early decision will receive their admissions decision from the school in mid-December.
Since the students who apply in early decision are deeply committed to Rice, it makes sense that the admission rate is significantly higher!
Possible decisions that can come from an early application include admit, defer, and deny.
Admitted students can then submit a deposit to the university, officially calling themselves a “Rice Owl” and withdraw any other college applications.
Additionally, any eligible financial aid packages would be released at the time of admission for eligible students.
Deferred students will have their applications considered in the regular decision pool. This opens them up to apply to other universities while they wait to hear back from the other applicants on April 1st.
The decision rates vary annually, depending on the competitiveness of the applicant pool. Though deferral rates are different year to year, nearly every year, the school chooses to admit a number of initially deferred students.
Denied students will not be reconsidered but can reapply in future years if interested. The transfer application may be a good choice for these applicants if they choose to reapply in the future.
Students are placed in one of eleven residential colleges in July.
This gives all students, regardless of application type, a chance to be part of one of the vibrant living communities on campus.
Rice Early Decision Application Deadline
The early decision application deadline for Rice University is November 1.
This includes the application itself, the $75 application fee, and all supporting documents.
Optional interviews are an excellent way for applicants to meet with current Rice University seniors or alumni to further their application.
These are opportunities to showcase academic and personal success, while offering the ability to ask any questions about the university from someone who has experienced a Rice University education firsthand.
Interviews, while not guaranteed for any applicant, are offered virtually. Early decision applicants who would like to complete an interview must request to do so by November 3rd at the latest.
Some interviews can be completed prior to application, but it is important to request these as soon as possible and look at requirements early since these tend to fill up quickly.
Interviews with alumni do require a completed application. Interviews are not required but are encouraged!
It is essential to submit a financial aid application at this same time. Financial aid applications are due by November 15th.
Early decision is an excellent option for highly interested students and will help them solidify their plans early.
Though, for students who may be considering multiple schools, planning to apply during the regular decision application (deadline January 4th) may be a better choice.
How to Apply to Rice for Early Decision
The application for Rice University is test-optional. Though many students do choose to submit ACT or SAT scores, they are not required.
International first-year students applying in early decision whose native language is not English are required to show language proficiency, and some additional information may be required.
All students are considered consistent with Rice’s holistic application review process and exam scores are purely optional and can be submitted at the student’s discretion.
For any student who chooses to submit both ACT and SAT scores, the committee will consider whichever score best enhances their application.
The information required for the application includes: a completed Coalition or Common Application plus Rice writing supplement, $75 application fee, official high school transcript, recommendation letters, and early decision agreement (ED applications only).
While the official transcript will be incomplete at the time of application, Rice appreciates any additional grades the student can provide from their 12th-grade coursework.
All admitted students are required to submit updated official transcripts as additional courses are completed.
Recommendation letters are an essential part of the decision process as they show an added layer to the student. These letters should come from the student’s counselor and two academic teachers.
Though the three letters are sufficient for the committee’s decision process, some students may choose to submit an additional, non-required recommendation letter if someone has unique and personal knowledge of the student’s accomplishments or talents.
All applicants to Rice University are considered based on a holistic review process meant to find diverse thinkers who bring varied experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives to the campus community.
Academically gifted and curious about the world, Rice students are part of what leads to the university consistently ranking best quality of life universities.