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Rice Tour Questions

AnisqoyoAnisqoyo 41 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Will be taking my rising senior S to Rice in two weeks for a tour of the campus and an interview. I think Rice is a perfect fit for him, and he really likes what he has read about the school, but neither of us have ever been on campus. Wish we could visit during fall term when there are lots of students and more activity, but that just won't be possible before ED deadline.

I want to be sure we see and do the things that will help make Rice his top choice. Therefore, I'm looking for advice on any must see or must do's that will help promote Rice, and any specific questions we should be asking. I would also appreciate any insight you might be able to offer regarding the interview, how it is structured (formal/informal, etc.), and what kinds of questions he should anticipate. Thank you!
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Replies to: Rice Tour Questions

  • jym626jym626 55564 replies2896 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 29
    Honestly, it would be better to visit when undergraduate classes are in session (and this is speaking as the parent of a very happy Rice grad). I would find/make the time to visit then, even if its hard.
    edited June 29
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  • awesomepolyglotawesomepolyglot 3856 replies69 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Take the campus tour, and also wander around a little on your own. There's a lot of campus that I didn't see on any official tour that made me fall even more in love with the school.
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  • MoonKnightMoonKnight 377 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    I agree with @jym626 . It's better to visit schools when classes are in session so your son could get a feel of what it's like attending the campus instead of just what the campus itself is like.
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 1103 replies16 threadsForum Champion Rice Forum Champion
    edited July 1
    My daughter is a Rice tour guide. She gives tours year round. After the info session several tour guides take small groups on a walking tour of the campus. Pick the tour guide that you think is a good fit in terms of personality/major etc. Let your student ask them questions. Sometimes the parents are really overbearing. While the campus is not as busy now as it is in the fall, there are summer school classes in session now. Some students are on campus taking summer classes, and the athletes have returned. You probably will not get to see an actual dorm room as they are mostly closed for the summer. However, you will go into at least one dorm (residential college)building. Ask the student guide which residential college he/she is from and why it is the best. The guide will definitely have an opinion.

    Before or after your tour, visit the Rice Coffee House, a student run business, in the RMC (Student Center) and hang out for a while. It is near the bookstore. The staff are all Rice students. You will be able to cool off, observe students in their natural habitat, and use the wifi. The coffee house, or Chaus as it is known, has great and reasonable coffees, pastries, etc. My daughter spends lots of time and $ there.

    It is great that your son is going to be able to interview while he is on campus. He should go online and read some back issues of the Rice Thresher (campus newspaper) to get a feel for college life and maybe spur some questions. If he waited until fall to interview, the slots might be filled. Local alumni also do interviews, but typically that is after the applications are in.

    My daughter interviewed on campus during the fall of her high school senior year with a Rice senior and said it was pretty informal. Over the summer, the interviews may be with admission staff rather than students. I waited in the reception area of the admissions office while she interviewed. She and the interviewer came out afterwards, and the interviewer asked me if I had any questions. I was not expecting that so had nothing really to ask. It probably was just a courtesy. Casual dress is fine for the interview.

    If you have extra time visit the Rice Village area just to the west of campus. There are lots of shops and restaurants there. That is where the students go for occasional meals off campus, to shop, etc. Some restaurants to try in the Rice Village are Hungry's (table service healthy food), Torchy's Taco's (order at counter tacos) and Hopdoddy's hamburgers (order at counter burgers). There is some street parking in the Rice Village, but the Rice Village parking garages allow you park for 2 hours for free. There is also a Rice Owls shop in the Village next to the Shake Shack. The museum district and the Houston medical center, the largest medical center in the world, are right across Main street from the campus entrances. The towers of the medical center are easily seen from all parts of the campus. If you have a car, you could drive through Hermann Park which is directly across Main street from campus to see some of the museums and cultural amenities there.

    Rice does set up on campus overnight visits for high school seniors In the fall. If you have already visited, it is not really necessary to come back for that. My daughter did an overnight, and it really sold her on Rice. However, we live in Houston so it was easy for her to get there.

    Wear cool clothing and comfortable walking shoes for your campus visit/interview. Make sure to have a small fold up umbrella in case of rain. I hope you and your son enjoy your visit to Rice.
    edited July 1
    Post edited by Houston1021 on
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  • juststaycooljuststaycool 75 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I would caution you to really think about applying ED to a school you have not visited in session.
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  • AnisqoyoAnisqoyo 41 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @jym626 - I fully agree, however, limitations make it likely we won't be able to do so. If he likes what he sees and thinks it's the right fit, we'll do all we can to get back before Nov. 1st while school is in session. The Rice website leads me to believe that an interview can be helpful so I'd like him to interview on campus with an AO if at all possible. A return trip may not allow us to schedule an interview so we'll do it now. Thank you for the reply.
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  • AnisqoyoAnisqoyo 41 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @awesomepolyglot - Was there anywhere or anything in particular that really stood out for you that we should include in our own tour?
    Thank you.
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  • AnisqoyoAnisqoyo 41 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Houston1021 - Thank you for all of that information and advice! I agree about parents taking control of the tours when the students should be asking the questions. I get frustrated, though, when my S goes mute during the tours. We'll be sure to take the smaller tour afterwards which should make him more conversive. The dorms/residential colleges are at the top of his list for visiting and for questions so I'm hoping we can, somehow, get a look at a "typical" dorm room and learn more about life within these colleges.

    One additional question regarding interview and essay, the admissions department makes it clear that they are looking for students that "get Rice." I think my son gets the school but would welcome any feedback from others on the forum as to what it means, to them, to "get" Rice.

    Thanks to everyone for their responses.
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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 120 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I totally get it. We had to do most of our tours in the summer and over spring breaks. While it's not preferable sometimes you just have to do what your schedule allows. I don't think it's a bad idea to go now, get in your interview and get an initial impression. Just make sure your son understands the atmosphere will be a little different when school is in session. If he really likes it and is still considering it ED then try to make a quick visit back while school is in session before committing if possible.
    As for what to do when you're there...what is important to your son? With my daughter we knew there were certain facilities she was interested in so we made sure to check those out. We also spend some time in Rice Village as someone else mentioned.
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  • AnisqoyoAnisqoyo 41 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @ PrdMomto1 - Son will either major in math/statistics or chemistry. He wants to see math building and science labs if at all possible. He's working as a research intern this summer and loves being in a lab, so seeing large and well supplied science labs would be a plus. As with most 17-year-old boys, food is critical. It's always the first thing he critiques after a campus visit. Finally, the residential college system and living facilities will also be important. Because we won't be there during session, the campus culture won't be so evident, but he has spent a lot of time reading student comments about the campus, and the kids who go there, and he feels like it would be an excellent fit. To your point, if Rice remains at the top of his list, another visit will need to be worked out before November.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1375 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 30
    I highly recommend doing an overnight visit in the fall when the school is in session if at all possible. My S and I did an overnight visit in the fall and it was very helpful. He was hosted by a Rice student for an entire day in the same field he was interested in. He took a number of classes, stayed in the dorm, ate at the cafeteria, etc., all with his host. He also did an interview. The info session was done in an AO's office with only a few applicants so there were more interactions. For Rice, demonstrating interest is important so that may help (my S never applied because of his success during the EA round, but he really liked the school and the surrounding area).
    edited June 30
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 1103 replies16 threadsForum Champion Rice Forum Champion
    edited July 8
    If the tour guide does not take you into the math building or science labs, you can go on your own after the official tour. You will probably not go into an actual dorm room on the tour because most of the residence halls/dining halls are not open during the summer. The tour guide will probably take you into the common area of one of the residential colleges. There are on campus restaurants that serve meals during summer: Sammy's in the student center and the restaurant in the Brochstein Pavilion. The Rice Coffee House in the student center has some food also. However, these are not representative of the large dining halls. Let us know how the Rice visit went.
    edited July 8
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