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Rice Admissions

If you are considering submitting an application to Rice, the regular decision application deadline is January 1 and the application fee is $75.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students who are struggling to afford application fees may be eligible for fee waiver for their application.

Students who apply for Fall should receive an admissions decision no later than April 1.

Rice Admissions Stats at a Glance

Rice 2021 Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 92%
Admissions Test Policy Not optional and are considered
Applicants Who Submit SATs 59%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 41%
Waitlist Yes

Applying Early to Rice?

Rice University offers early decision but not early action. Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

The early decision acceptance rate at Rice is 2%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 11%. Last year, Rice admitted 440 of the 2248 students who applied early decison.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

How To Get Into Rice University

Getting into Rice is extremely difficult. Rice evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, Rice accepted 11% of all applicants, around 2,555 of the 23,455 students who applied.

Schools that are extremely difficult to get into, like Rice, accept fewer than 30% of all applicants. At least 75% of admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1310 on the SAT or over 29 on the ACT.

It is extremely difficult to be admitted as a transfer student.

In 2021, Rice waitlisted 3,451 students. Of those, 2,045 eventually got in.

What Does Rice Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are are most important when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that prioritize the areas where you're strong.

Admissions Factors at Rice

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Geographical Residence Considered
Class Rank Very Important
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Very Important
Level of Applicant's Interest Considered
Application Essay Very Important
First Generation Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Considered
Talent/Ability Very Important
Standardized Test Scores Very Important
Volunteer Work Considered

Rice Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to Rice must submit the following items. Double check with Rice's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Other Requirements portfolio for architecture, audition for music
Letter(s) of Recommendation 2
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Rice?

Out of all students that were admitted, 50% submitted a class rank. At Rice 92% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 98% were in the top 25% and 99.6% were in the top 50%.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At Rice University, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA 50%

Rice does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

Rice does not have a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 59% of Rice's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 41% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for Rice?

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Rice students scored 800 or higher and 75% of students scored 710 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Rice students scored 770 or higher, and 75% scored a 710 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for Rice?

To be most competitive at Rice, you should strive to earn between 34 and 36 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 36 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Rice's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 36, and three out of four students scored lower than 36 on the ACT.

A 34 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Rice students. Only one out of every four students scored below 34.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Rice University

For transfer students, it is extremely difficult to get admitted to Rice.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is March 15. Applicants should hear back by May 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Rice during the following terms: - Fall Term

Rice Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Rice?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Rice.

Does Rice accept transfer credits?

Rice accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Rice accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

Rice accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Rice?

Rice is not test optional. You must submit test scores as part of the application.

What is Rice's acceptance rate?

Rice's acceptance rate is 11%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Rice?

Rice's early decision acceptance rate was 2% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Rice?

Choose one of the options below to find out more about about Rice:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about Rice

Explore other colleges in Texas or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Rice Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty



How hard is it to get into Rice? Rice is a selective institution. The Rice acceptance rate is 11%. This means that the institution accepts 10 out of every 100 applicants.



Wondering what your chances are of getting into Rice University?

Complete your profile to get your personalized, AI-calculated prediction score.

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Rice Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 15

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Rice is Jan 1.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Rice is Mar 15.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Rice ACT Scores


ACT Range

34 - 36

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

36 and Above


34 to 36


34 and Less


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Rice SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

Not available


Math SAT Range

750 - 800


Reading SAT Range

710 - 770

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Rice GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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