The Rice University Common Data Set

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of Rice University sign

The Rice University Common Data Set

If you’re someone who is interested in attending Rice University or is simply curious about the university’s academic and social landscape, then the common data set is something you should know about. Understanding this vital report is essential in painting a complete picture of Rice University as an institution.

Understanding the Common Data Set

What is the Common Data Set?

The Common Data Set is a report that provides a standard set of ten preset categories and corresponding data points for each category. These categories include enrollment and persistence, admissions, academic offerings and policies, student life, annual expenses, financial aid, faculty and class size, and degrees conferred. This report is available to universities across the United States to provide comprehensive data about their university.

The Common Data Set was created in the late 1990s by publishers of college guidebooks, such as U.S. News & World Report, to standardize the data universities provide to them. This standardization allowed for the comparison of universities across the country, which was previously difficult due to inconsistent data reporting.

The Importance of the Common Data Set for Universities

The Common Data Set serves as a valuable resource for universities aiming to better understand their student demographics and performance. By knowing where their university stands and their student body, universities can plan long-term strategies to improve in areas where they lack behind and capitalize on areas where they excel.

For example, a university may notice that their enrollment numbers have been declining over the past few years. By analyzing the data provided in the Common Data Set, they may find that their retention rate is lower than other universities in their category. With this information, the university can develop strategies to improve their retention rate, such as increasing academic support services or offering more scholarships to incentivize students to stay.

Additionally, universities can use the Common Data Set to compare themselves to other universities in their category or region. This comparison can provide valuable insights into what other universities are doing well and where they may need to improve.

Overall, the Common Data Set is a valuable tool for universities to better understand their performance and make data-driven decisions to improve their institution.

Rice University Overview

History and Background

Rice University is a private research university located in Houston, Texas. The university was founded in 1912, thanks to a generous donation from William Marsh Rice, a wealthy businessman. Rice University is known for its diverse academic programs and world-class research facilities.

William Marsh Rice’s vision for the university was to create a place where students could receive a top-notch education, regardless of their background. Today, Rice University continues to uphold this vision by offering need-blind admission and meeting 100% of demonstrated need for admitted students.

rice university signage

Over the years, Rice University has become a leader in research, with a focus on innovation and collaboration. The university is home to several research centers and institutes, including the Baker Institute for Public Policy, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, and the Rice Space Institute.

Academic Programs and Offerings

Rice provides a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The university offers over 60 majors and more than 40 minors across its 11 academic departments. The areas of study available at Rice University include engineering, humanities, science, social sciences, architecture, and music.

Rice University’s academic programs are designed to challenge and inspire students. The university’s small class sizes and low student-to-faculty ratio allow for personalized attention and mentorship from world-renowned faculty members. Rice students also have the opportunity to engage in research and creative projects, with many students publishing their work in academic journals and presenting at national conferences.

One unique aspect of Rice University’s academic offerings is the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL). RCEL is a program that prepares engineering students to become leaders in their field by providing them with opportunities to develop their communication, teamwork, and project management skills.

Campus Life and Facilities

Rice University has a vibrant and diverse campus community. The campus includes over 300 student organizations, ranging from cultural and spiritual groups to various academic and extracurricular clubs. Rice’s residential colleges, each with its unique identity and culture, are home to almost 80% of undergraduates.

Aside from its residential colleges, Rice University has several other facilities that enhance student life. The Rice Student Center, for example, is a hub for student activity and includes a food court, game room, and various meeting spaces. The Rice Recreation Center is a state-of-the-art facility that offers fitness classes, intramural sports, and outdoor adventure programs.

Rice University is also known for its stunning architecture, with many of its buildings designed by world-renowned architects. The campus includes several notable buildings, such as the Brochstein Pavilion, the Moody Center for the Arts, and the BioScience Research Collaborative.

Overall, Rice University offers students a unique and enriching experience, with world-class academics and a vibrant campus community. Whether you’re interested in research, the arts, athletics, or community service, there’s something for everyone at Rice.

Rice University Admissions Data

Application Requirements

The application process for Rice University is highly selective, and prospective students must meet a variety of requirements in order to be considered for admission. In addition to submitting their transcripts and standardized test scores, applicants must also submit letters of recommendation and application essays. These essays are an important part of the application process, as they allow the admissions committee to get a better sense of who the student is and what they would bring to the Rice University community.

View of Rice University campus at daytime

Rice University requires either the SAT or ACT, and they recommend that applicants submit SAT scores from two different tests. This ensures that the admissions committee has a more comprehensive view of the student’s academic abilities. Additionally, Rice offers an optional Early Decision application process. This process is designed for students who are certain that Rice University is their top choice, and who are willing to commit to enrolling if they are admitted.

Admissions Statistics

The acceptance rate for Rice University is usually in the single digits, making it one of the most selective universities across the United States. In recent years, the undergraduate acceptance rate has averaged from 8.7% to 9.7%. This means that the majority of applicants are not admitted to Rice University, and that those who are accepted have truly exceptional academic and extracurricular achievements.

75% of the admitted students score in the 1460-1570 range on the SAT, which is a clear indication of the high academic standards that Rice University expects from its students. In addition, the average high school GPA of admitted students is around 4.11, which is another indication of the academic excellence that is required to be admitted to Rice University.

Early Decision and Regular Decision

Rice University offers two application methods: Early Decision and Regular Decision. Early Decision is a binding application process, which means that applicants who are admitted are expected to withdraw their other applications and commit to enrolling at Rice University. This process is designed for students who are certain that Rice University is their top choice, and who are willing to make a commitment to the university.

Rice University signage

On the other hand, Regular Decision applicants have until May 1st to decide whether Rice University is the best fit for them. This gives students more time to consider their options and make an informed decision about where to enroll. Regular Decision is a non-binding process, which means that students are not required to commit to Rice University if they are admitted.

Overall, the admissions process at Rice University is highly competitive, but it is also designed to identify students who have the potential to thrive academically and contribute to the university community. Students who are interested in applying to Rice University should carefully review the application requirements and consider whether Early Decision or Regular Decision is the best fit for their individual needs and goals.

Student Demographics

Rice University is a thriving academic institution that is known for its diverse student population. The university has a long-standing commitment to providing a welcoming environment for students from all walks of life. In this section, we will explore the demographics of the student body at Rice University in more detail.

Enrollment by Gender

At Rice University, there is a nearly equal distribution of male and female students. In recent years, the enrollment ratio has hovered around 50.3% and 49.7% favoring female students. This balanced gender distribution is a testament to the university’s commitment to providing equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their gender.

It is worth noting that Rice University has a robust support system in place for female students. The university offers a variety of programs and resources that are designed to help female students succeed academically and professionally. These programs include mentorship opportunities, leadership training, and networking events.

Enrollment by Race and Ethnicity

Rice University is a diverse institution, with students coming from all races and backgrounds. In recent years, around half of the student body identified as white, while the remaining half identified as minority ethnic groups. Hispanic students make up the most significant percentage of minority students, averaging around 20%.

The university is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. To this end, Rice University has established several programs and initiatives that are designed to support students from underrepresented backgrounds. These programs include scholarships, mentorship opportunities, and diversity-focused student organizations.

Geographic Distribution of Students

Rice University attracts students from all 50 states and over 90 countries worldwide. More than half of the student body come from other states, with the top five states outside Texas, including California, Florida, New York, Illinois, and Colorado.

The university’s diverse student body is a reflection of its commitment to providing a world-class education to students from all over the globe. Rice University is proud to offer a welcoming and inclusive environment for students from all backgrounds and cultures.

Group of students walking in the stairs.

Overall, the demographics of the student body at Rice University are a testament to the university’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The university’s efforts to promote a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students have made it one of the most diverse and dynamic academic institutions in the country.


The Rice University Common Data Set is an essential tool for both prospective students and the university itself. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the university’s academic programs, admissions data, and student demographics. By understanding the data, one can decide whether Rice University is the ideal place to further their academic pursuits.

How AdmissionSight Can Help You With College Admissions

AdmissionSight is a college consulting firm that provides personalized assistance to students throughout the college admissions process. Here are some ways that AdmissionSight can help you:

Admissions strategy: AdmissionSight can help you develop a strategic plan for your college application process. Our professional consultants can assist with identifying schools that are a good fit for your academic, extracurricular, and personal goals and help you plan and prioritize your application strategy.

Application review: AdmissionSight can review your application and provide feedback on how to improve it. We can offer suggestions on how to make your application stand out and highlight your strengths and unique qualities.

Essay coaching: AdmissionSight can help you craft compelling essays that showcase your personality, goals, and achievements. We can guide you through the essay writing process and provide feedback on your drafts to help you refine your writing.

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Overall, AdmissionSight can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the college admissions process to help you maximize your chances of getting accepted into the college of your choice.

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