Rice University is one of the most elite private colleges in the Southwest. The classes are small, and undergraduates have opportunities to work with some of the world’s top researchers. The typical student scored in the 700s on the SAT tests and majors in engineering, economics or biology. Rice is unusually diverse for such a specialized school. Students are evenly split between men and women, more than 20% are Hispanic or African-American, and 20% come from low-income families.
Rice graduates are highly valued by employers. The average recent alum reports earning about $55,700, or 8% more than the average for recent grads with similarly tough majors. Rice has no fraternities. Social life, instead, revolves around residential houses. They 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 attracts prestigious speakers and events. Its stadium housed a Super Bowl and President John F. Kennedy’s speech about the space race in 1962.