Rice University - Comments and Student Experiences|
The school is very heavily biased toward its science departments, so I guess if you're just in it for the whole pre-med experience, you'll have enough to keep you going. But I feel that's appliable to any school - seriously, what university doesn't highlight their science programs? ...which may make you ask, why am I expecting otherwise? Oh right, paying more than anyone could hope for.
Rice likes to boast a diverse and well-rounded feel, but that's pretty bogus. It's more of a "scratch my back, THEN I'll scratch yours," so if you don't fit into their mold of pre-determined success your size isn't detectable enough to warrant any aid. I think Rice would be a great fit for people who know EXACTLY what they want in the future, have determined that road including all the faculty to ingratiate themselves with and all the internship positions they need to land etc. all to culminate in a big bright burst of material and/or esoteric success (and then they can add you on to the list of assets, I mean names, that makes Rice so great!). Too bad most 18-year-olds would like a little more room to maneuver and HAVEN'T determined the iron steps to their great and glorious destiny, thank you very much (honestly, if you were that driven, the majority of you wouldn't be at Rice). Not to mention a little more warmth and humanity in the working out of it. Think I'm being a sap as a humanities major? Hey now, remember I'm still going off the money I paid, so isn't that rational enough? :D I took my share of science classes, mind you.
A small private university is SUPPOSED to give you the support, flexibility and opportunities you won't get elsewhere, no matter where you're going or what you're exploring (within reason, of course). That's why you're coughing down the big price tag and looking at the student:faculty ratios. Here, it's enough to get you the semblance of help with all the nice trimmings and polite embellishments of courtesy and exactly zero of anything else, leaving you with an equally empty feeling (unless you are great at and very willing to kiss multiple butts or are so super brilliant that the university can obviously see it'd be a mistake not to ingratiate themselves with YOU - are you there?). Maybe you don't know if you're at Rice, maybe I just don't know how it compares to other schools, but I know of a LOT of students who have gotten so depressed during their undergrad experience that they literally have to leave and continue their education elsewhere.
Generally, students are nice enough, but like the rest of the campus's overall package, don't expect to find anything too stimulating, challenging or long-lasting. The only impact I was left with was wishing I had never gone there. That sounds a lot more bitter than I mean it to be. I think. If you think lack of plus points in the academic/on-campus experience can be compensated by the surrounded cosmpolitan, you're way off the marker. Houston is so big you need a car with lots of gas to get anywhere, or want to go anywhere, sweltering weather sucks a lot more when it's filled with the puff-bite-inducing mosquitos, and basically it relates back to the university: a lot of things may be said to be going on, a lot of things may even be going on, but once you get there you find out how not worth it the effort was. Rice - didn't enjoy the university, didn't enjoy the city. You know how a class goes when you hate the material and the teacher is NOT the kind to make anything better, AT ALL? - it's like four years of that. Even though I came out with a decent grade, I'd want to go back and do it somewhere else.