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Rank: 24

Rice University

Rice University is one of the most elite private colleges in the Southwest, with an acceptance rate of 11% and a graduation rate of 91%. Classes are small at the Houston-based university, with a tiny 6:1 student-faculty ratio, and undergraduates have opportunities to work with some of the world's top researchers. Popular majors include social sciences, engineering, and natural sciences, though Rice offers more than 80 undergrad programs in all. Rice is relatively diverse: Undergraduate students are almost evenly split between men and women, about a fifth are Asian, and 11% are Hispanic. Rice graduates are highly valued by employers. The average recent alum reports earning about $69,200, which is about 8% higher than expected, according to PayScale. Rice doesn't have fraternities or sororities, and social life revolves around residential houses, where some 75% of undergrads live. People compete in activities such as water balloon fights and the annual Beer Bike relay race, which requires cyclists to chug beer (or water) and then pedal laps. Rice also attracts prestigious speakers and events. Its stadium has hosted a Super Bowl, and President John F. Kennedy delivered a famous speech about the space race there in 1962. Notable alumni include astronaut Peggy Whitson and former White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$66,000
% of students who get any grants
61%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$25,800
Average price for low-income students
$7,210
admissions
Acceptance rate
16%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1540/34
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
3,970
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
98%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit* grants
11%
Average merit grant
$20,779
student success
Graduation rate
91%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Average student debt
$11,200
Average salary within 3 years
$69,200
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
49%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 1

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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