College Senior 2012-04-25T01:51:45Z
It Depends – How you enjoy the party scene at Rice will truly depend on your expectations and experience coming into college. If you want to rage, or were a heavy drinker before coming to college, this might not be the scene for you. Rice's party scene tends to be pretty repetitive. There's a public party around every other weekend, but they are generally just people awkwardly gyrating/standing/trying to get free beer. Beer Bike and NOD are arguably the only times when campus goes crazy, and even then it's not that intense.
However, if you're looking for a school that will break you into drinking, and you don't want to be around a pressure filled atmosphere, the Rice social scene is great, albeit repetitive.
College Junior 2012-04-14T22:56:15Z
Health & Safety:
Very safe. RUPD and EMS everywhere. Can't get in trouble with EMS if you're drinking so students feel okay about asking for help if sick.
Health center not open after a certain time though so it can be annoying to make appointments.
College Junior 2012-04-14T22:52:59Z
Not That Bad – So warm. It's beautiful. Everyone is jealous. Also, not as humid as I thought it would be. Felt like I was on Spring break in January.
College Junior 2012-04-14T22:49:22Z
Guys & Girls:
Girls Are Decent – It all depends on what group you're in. Girls at Rice aren't that bad compared to their reputation. There are a good amount of athletes and attractive girls. Usually they are all friends with each other though. The rest are average and some are nerdy but there are attractive girls on campus. Also they are all smart and friendly.
College Junior 2012-04-14T22:46:55Z
Lots of Serveries – Rice food is pretty good compared to different colleges. Every residential college has their own servery so if you do not like something you can always go to another servery to get a variety.
College Junior 2012-04-13T15:39:43Z
Engineering Is Amazing – The engineering program at Rice is amazing!!! It is definitely a lot of work, but it is totally worth it. The engineering program prepares you very well for life after you complete your undergraduate.
College Junior 2012-04-13T15:36:54Z
There is plenty of parking on campus, but parking permits are very expensive. The closer the lot, the higher the price.
College Junior 2012-04-13T15:32:40Z
It's Required – At Rice University, students are only guaranteed 3 years of housing, so students usually move off during their junior year. There are several options ranging from apartments to actual houses. There is a large price range available.
College Junior 2012-03-28T19:51:33Z
We've been ranked as having one of the most beautiful campuses in the US. The architecture has a somewhat consistent theme, but the buildings are varied and interesting. There have been a lot of capital improvements over the past few years and many of the buildings on campus are brand new. Students have access to some top-notch facilities.
College Junior 2012-03-28T19:46:45Z
Usually when you get a university of this caliber, its focus is relatively narrow and other parts of the college experience fall by the wayside. Conversely, at bigger state schools that fulfill the valuable social component of college, the quality of one's education suffers.
Rice is absolutely unique in the way that it harnesses the best of both worlds. A Rice student gets a a top-notch education from a world-class research university. For many students, it'll be one of the hardest things they'll ever do. At the same time, they can take advantage of a social scene that is flourishing, varied, and most importantly, all-inclusive. Rice takes the best parts of college and puts them together in a way that you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
Rice students are the happiest students around.
College Junior 2012-03-28T19:37:08Z
Great Options – There are sooo many places to live off campus. If you choose to go this route, you will need a car otherwise it's too inconvenient. Most students choose to live on campus because it's so amazing, but those that choose to live off have lots of options and actually can save some money. Rice is in a really wealthy neighborhood and people will even rent out rooms in their houses. There are lots of good apartment options as well
College Junior 2012-03-28T19:33:28Z
Being a physics major at Rice is challenging, but rewarding. The workload is consistent but the number of physics majors is relatively small so the professors are VERY accessible. Making a personal connection with professors makes all the difference. Our physics department facilities are state of the art. Lots of cool research going on at Rice.
College Senior 2012-03-25T20:41:32Z
Repetitive Drinking and Smoking With Not Much Other Drug Use – Alcohol is extremely visible, with about half of campus drinking, some for special occasions, some every weekend. You need to be 21+ or pay someone 21+ to procure alcohol. However, when I've talked to people who don't partake, they are annoyed with the drinking scene at Rice for being noisy, and the drinkers are annoyed with non-drinkers for being 'lame' and complaining. We all live together in the same small buildings where you hear everything through the walls. Wet campus means alcohol is everywhere. Freshman are known for being more out of control than the other grades every year trying to impress. Most weekends though, people end up sitting with their friend groups in their rooms drinking and possibly smoking weed. Repetitive and uninteresting party scene.
Policy enforcement ranges from unfair hospitalization to free bagels for drunk students(Rice Emergency Medical Services and Rice University Police Department both vary in their treatment of drunk students). Noise policies are rarely enforced, which adds to the annoyance for non-drinking students who want to study in their rooms.
Drug scene is not very happening, many many people smoke weed (entire floors and rooms smell like weed at my residential college) anywhere from occasionally to all the time. Other drugs I've heard of people doing here are cocaine, shrooms, and MDMA (Ecstasy). They're out there if you make an extreme effort to look and can pay. Prescription drugs (Adderall, etc...) not as common as would be expected with all the hard workers, but it may be I just haven't seen them being used myself.
College Senior 2012-03-25T20:31:31Z
Outdated Residential College System – Everyone is placed randomly (supposedly) into one of the 11 residential colleges (basically dorms) on campus upon matriculation. You are not allowed to transfer colleges except under extreme circumstances. Generally people find their friend groups quickly freshman year, due to fear of being alone, and they stick with these groups for the next 4 years. Social interactions are repetitive and require a lot of fakeness to deal with the same people every day. Most colleges kick you off campus for 1 out of your 4 years at Rice, and off campus living is horrendously inconvenient if you do not own a car, and Rice does not help you with living OC. So even though on-campus is more expensive (due to overpriced mandatory meal plan), most people prefer it to off.
Quality of dorms depends. The two new colleges, Duncan and McMurtry, were built in the last 5 years and are extremely nice. Martel and Wiess also have nice facilities, with common rooms for each suite of about 4 people, and many opportunities for singles. Other colleges, such as Hanszen, Will Rice and Lovett, have terrible facilities in comparison and mean that you must live in a cramped space with 3 other people throughout your time at Rice.
College Senior 2012-03-25T20:21:58Z
Don't Come Here to Major in Arts – I am majoring in Visual and Dramatic Arts with a double in Mathematics, but the arts are sorely ignored here. The VADA department concentrations (Studio Art, Film/Photography, Theatre) do not have their own buildings, nor are they even located in one place. Each of the 3 concentrations is split up across campus between buildings such as the Social Sciences building and the lobby of Rice's theatre (yes, I've had class there). The departments themselves are good, particularly Theatre, but with few faculty and few resources. For example, at this time, Theatre has 2 full-time faculty. A new athletic stadium is in talks to be built, but the new arts building, which should have been constructed in the past 5 years, is nowhere to be found. In terms of other arts programs, the Shepherd School of Music resources are only open to music majors, and they have no good classes or ensembles open to non-music majors (99% of campus). Rice has no dance program or department, and the only regularly performing dance group on campus is student-run (Rice Dance Theatre). I have many concerns about finding a job in the arts especially coming from Rice's non-prestigious program, which is why I am also majoring in Math.
In addition, Rice offers very few options for majors, and the Humanities and Social Sciences schools are known to not be as rigorous as the school of Engineering. The school of Natural Sciences is hit or miss with its major departments. Rice is great for Architecture and Music, but those students make up 2% of the undergraduate population at most. Rice is mainly a research university, and administration is not focused on undergraduates.
College Senior 2012-03-25T20:00:42Z
Houston is a big city and a car is necessary to get anywhere. I do not have a car so like most others, my plans are limited to what people with cars want to do. Some parts of Houston are unsafe and you wouldn't want to drive or walk around there. Area attractions are few, some activities and cultural events exist, but all of these cost money. Difficult to find any free things to do. Shopping is limited, but the basic stores exist downtown. Locals do not seem to have any sort of affinity, negative or positive, for Rice students.
College Senior 2012-03-25T19:47:19Z
Good Process, Nice Endowment – I come from a single-parent lower-middle-class household and am the oldest child. That being said, most people here are from upper-middle-class and higher families. Rice gave me a good financial aid package without which I would not be able to attend. Even so, it is expensive for me to attend and not sure the cost is worth it. The process was fairly complicated but everything worked out in the end.
College Senior 2012-03-25T19:41:59Z
Repetitive and Disappointing – School parties are the same every year, and they happen about once every 2 or 3 weeks, hosted by a residential college (e.g. Sid Schoolgirls). They are usually crowded and filled with awkward drunk people looking for hookups. Most weekends, campus is dead, and events rarely occur during the week. A lot of people end up drinking in groups in their rooms, weekend after weekend. However, it is nice to have a wet campus, even if it is seldom needed. Bar/clubbing scene is only open to 21+ and you need a designated driver in order to get to the bars and clubs. Underage nightlife is lacking. Again, to get off campus, you'll need a car, because the metro rail has limited routes and hours.
College Senior 2012-03-25T19:34:53Z
Bring Your Own – Nearly everyone has their own computer and it's better to have a printer. Library computer labs and printers are extremely crowded around midterms and finals. Printers and computer labs in the residential colleges (dormitories) have iffy internet and printing capabilities. Wireless access is provided most places on campus. Network is pretty reliable.
College Senior 2012-03-08T22:35:44Z
Rice pays for your metro tickets, which will bring you practically anywhere you need to be. Downtown Houston is compact, so everything is within walking or biking distance. I don't have a car, and I don't need one at all!
College Senior 2012-03-08T22:33:55Z
Dean Is Fair – Rice is known for drinking. The biggest event of the year is "Beer Bike," where alumni, professors, and students all come together and drink beer while watching a bicycle race. However, when the drinking gets out of control, the dean puts his foot down. Last year, after too many hospital transports, the dean implemented a "hard alcohol" probation for anyone underage. Fortunately, that probation has been lifted since students became more responsible.
College Senior 2012-03-08T22:28:51Z
Health & Safety:
Good Safety Considering Large City – I have never felt unsafe at Rice. Whenever anything comes up, RUPD (Rice University Police Department) handles it quickly and with ease. Houston is a huge city, so I thought there would be a lot of crime within the university. I was wrong! Rice is an extremely safe haven.
Recent Alumnus 2012-02-28T03:18:01Z
If you're not from Houston, you may feel like a warm blanket is smothering you for the first few months of school. However, as the year progresses, the humidity and heat go down and except for a few downpours, the weather is pretty good. If you're from the Northern US and you're tired of the cold, you will definitely enjoy winter in Houston.
Recent Alumnus 2012-02-28T03:12:17Z
Very Diverse, Just Like Houston – Rice is very diverse, and provides a safe and accepting environment for all of its students. However, while I do have a fairly diverse set of friends, certain people do tend to segregate themselves.
College Junior 2012-02-23T21:20:18Z
Everything but the Parking Is Great – The cheapest parking lots are ages away from the rest of campus, and they're still not that cheap. However, cars aren't really needed on such a small campus, and students get free access to the Houston Metro system, so you can get pretty much anywhere in the city easily. There's a shuttle system to the Hobby airport that's also free at Thanksgiving, so no trouble there.
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