Rice University Admissions Essay

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They discussed a candidate’s merits, achievements and personal circumstances, making notes of pieces of the application that stood out.Then, each gave a recommendation — to admit, wait-list or deny a candidate — along with numerical ratings. “We give very few fives.” The most competitive applicants move on for further evaluation. The review process cuts down time in multiple ways, she said.

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History shows that no single gauge can adequately predict a student’s preparedness for a successful career at Rice.

For example, we are cautious in the use of standardized test scores to assess student preparedness and potential.

First, because of the discussion and collaborative notes, staff no longer write individual summaries of applications that needed to be passed among employees. Because junior and senior staff members pair off, a newer employee asks questions as he or she reads an application.

A seasoned admissions officer answers in real time.

Therefore, as an integral part of the university’s mission, we seek a broadly diverse student body where educational diversity increases the intellectual vitality of education, scholarship, service, and communal life at Rice.

Our evaluation process employs many different means to identify these qualities in applicants.We use a broader perspective that includes such qualitative factors as the overall strength and competitive ranking of a student’s prior institution, the rigor of his or her particular course of study, letters of recommendation, essays, responses to application questions, and (where required) auditions and portfolios.Taken together with a student’s academic record and test scores, these additional factors provide a sound basis to begin assessing the applicant’s potential on all levels.At Rice, he would read up to 30 applications a day.“It is truly exhausting to get through that many files,” Sisco said. With team reading, a lot of that is gone.” Talking through an application with a colleague makes for a more thorough read, despite the faster time for the initial review, he said.“It allows you to slow down when you need to and be thoughtful.” Their expertise doesn’t ease the nerves of applicants around the country, though.Dianzungu, of Arlington, was working a clinical shift that started Friday afternoon and was to extend until 5 a.m. She did not plan on checking the status of her application online before the shift.Admissions officers worked during regular business hours in three- or four-hour sessions each day, in addition to a few Saturdays, she said.Between 30 and 50 colleges and universities are now using team-based reading, Romero da Silva said.“It would have really been a challenge.” Rice accepted about 11 percent of applicants this year, releasing decisions for many of those students on Friday afternoon.Last year, the acceptance rate was about 16 percent.


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