Similarities: Both campuses are right in the middle of downtown, yet they don't seem like it. While there are no "security walls", I believe you could live both places all four years and have to be reminded that you are downtown.
Houston is a much bigger city and probably has better access to museums, city parks and the subway/metro. However, everything you need is at both campuses.
Rice has a beautiful Spanish/Mediteranean architechture. They seem to have lots of space. You can park for free near the Stadium. It's a long walk, but they do have free buses. I think Parking may be more contentious at Vanderbilt. This is not a problem if you don't bring a car.
Vanderbilt, being a national arboretum, has wonderful trees to go along with the traditional brick college buildings.
They are both beautiful. Even if you have a preference, I don't think it will make the difference in choice of schools.
this is what someone said to me...what do you think?
Houston is hot and HUMID
liberal but not extreme like Berkeley
Better research opportunities
slightly more competitive academics
centered around greek system
more well rounded
better looking student body by far
also has competitive academics, good research opportunities
Probably a slightly more recognized name
I think you should go to the school you want to go to; don't go off the opinions of others. Everyone is different, check out the schools for yourself...then decide. A good college for you won't be the same for another.
Our son's choices came down to Vandy and Rice. We visited both campuses and studied both schools. Both are beautiful. Both have lots of positives. Vandy does have all four seasons (a consideration for our son as we too live in an area without winter).
For our son the physical was less important than the atmosphere. It came down to the people at the schools and their rep. Vandy is a bit more of a preppy, frat, old money, who you know, school. It is part of the "Old South" tradition and people from that social group. People who are not part of that culture are NOT looked down upon, but it does take them some time to adjust to the social group or mindset. This rep comes from about 4 families we know who had members attend Vandy (families within and without the "old south" tradition).
Rice makes a deliberate effort to avoid the "who you know" attitude. Of course there are no frats. The residential colleges accept or adopt their members unconditionally, no pledging, no discrimination, only a wonderful O week and full membership. Our son chose Rice, where he is now a sophomore. He could not have done better. He was quite and not very social at "the" local elite high school. He is absolutely in his element at Rice. I suggest a visit to the schools to test the feeling you get for the atmosphere and how you would fit.
I agree with Don's analysis. Our D's top two choices for college next fall were Rice and Vandy. She chose to apply ED to Rice (and was accepted) to boost her admissions chances, but Vandy was a close 2nd. Her choice was driven by the residential college system and the welcoming feel she got when she visited. She couldn't be described as a tom girl but she is into sports, doesn't spend a lot of time on clothes and typically "dresses down". Rice seems much more relaxed and less preppy than Vandy and I think she made the correct choice.