Overall, Rice students are highly satisfied with their college experiences. While they complain about some of the negative aspects of Houston (pollution, transportation, traffic, panhandlers), they also admit that there are many positive aspects to Rice’s location (cultural and social opportunities of a big city, great restaurants!). Similarly, students have gripes about the University, including rising prices, the increasingly bleak parking situation, and a somewhat repetitive social scene (the same parties every year). Many aspects of Houston and Rice can be seen as both positive and negative. Houston weather is warm and temperate for the winter months, but it is oppressively hot and humid in the summer. Rice’s small campus and student body are nice because they create a personal environment and allow students to meet more people and not just feel like faces in the crowd. However, students also claim that it begins to feel confining at times.
Rice students love the residential college system. They also find their coursework to be challenging, but manageable. With few exceptions, the instruction is very engaging, and professors are accessible and personally interested in students. Rice University is steeped in tradition, and some of these traditions (O-week, Willy Week, and Beer Bike) are the most anticipated social events of the year. Rice is small enough that these events bring together almost the entire student population. The traditions, high academic standards, and amazing people that make up the Rice community create an extraordinary and irreplaceable environment. While any Rice student would admit to the school’s shortcomings, most believe the overall experience to be completely unique and unparalleled by any other university.