Rice Hits Record Acceptance Rate for Class of 2026
Channing Wang / drummer
Channing Wang / drummer
By Riya Misra 26/03/22 17:45
This year, Rice achieved an all-time high acceptance rate of 8.56% for its admissions cycle. The Admissions Office received a record 31,424 applications, marking a 6% increase since last year and a 74% increase over the past five years, according to Vice President of Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva. Of these 31,424 students, only 2,691 were offered admission.
This year’s acceptance rate shows a drop from last year 9.3% and exceeds the previous record 8.7% in 2019. This year’s admissions cycle marks the most competitive application cycle to date in Rice’s history.
Romera da Silva said the Class of 2026 is incredibly diverse.
“It’s been an amazing year, and [there was an] incredible pool of candidates for Rice,” Romero da Silva said. “We have many new voices and perspectives in the admitted class, including students from several more countries than we’ve ever had in the pool.”
The 2,700 students admitted include the 510 students admitted last December Early Decision and QuestBridge National College Match programs. The regular decision results for the Class of 2026 also come a year after Rice admitted a record number of 2,749 candidates in 2021, in line with their undergraduate expansion plan.
Romero da Silva said the increase in applications this year was likely due in part to the new undergraduate business major.
“The addition of the undergraduate business major has captured the attention of aspiring business students and entrepreneurs around the world,” said Romero da Silva. “Students applying to Rice Business represent 9% of the admitted class, which is comparable to the number of students admitted to the School of Humanities.”
Romero da Silva also said she also attributes the increase in nominations to Rice’s social media platforms.
“Students are responding to our new digital and social media presence with greater access to meaningful content and a [more full] understanding of Rice’s undergraduate experience,” Romero da Silva said.
Evonne Huang, a high school student from Plano, Texas, said she was both nervous and excited to open up about her decision.
“I was actually studying for an exam at a Starbucks […] and wait until the time reaches 5:00 p.m.,” Huang said. “Once I clicked on the decision, I was a little confused because I was expecting a video. But once I saw the confetti, I was really excited. But I was in a Starbucks, so I had to keep [my excitement] on the low-low.
Brennan Robson, a high school student from Woodlands, Texas, said she also felt similar feelings of anticipation when opening up about her decision.
“I was so nervous at the opening [the letter]“, Robson said. “I was shaking. I couldn’t even see the words yet, but as soon as I saw the confetti, I started sobbing. I was so relieved to have entered. I called my mother and we were both crying. It was a really sweet moment.”
This year marks the first time in three years that events for admitted students – organized by the Office of Admissions – will take place in person.
“We look forward to hosting the newly revamped Owl Days on April 8 and 11 so admitted students can learn more about undergraduate life at Rice and in the beautiful city of Houston,” said Romero da Silva. “These one-day programs will include a number of events and tours for admitted students to connect with the Rice community and each other. We will also be hosting two Owl Express Days on April 16 and 23 for those who wish to explore Rice on their own.
[3/26/2022 at 10:54 p.m.] This story has been updated to include quotes from Huang and Robson.