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UT Austin vs Rice for cs/ undecided

blackbelt2.0blackbelt2.0 21 replies8 threads Junior Member
edited August 10 in Rice University
I have been accepted to both schools. However, I'm not sure where I want to go. I've made a pros-cons list, and the biggest factor it boils down to is cost, although flexibility to switch majors is nice. I haven't received a financial aid offer from Rice and frankly, don't think it's going to be great. I'm concerned with cost of attendance, especially since things are very financially uncertain right now. I have about $20,000 in scholarships for UT. I know there is a fixed rate tuition option at UT, while at Rice financial aid may not necessarily be guaranteed (that's my impression, at least). Does anyone have any advice? I live in Texas btw.
edited August 10
7 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
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Replies to: UT Austin vs Rice for cs/ undecided

  • ricegradricegrad 74 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Rice is significantly better than UT overall, but UT actually has the better computer science department (#10 in the country versus #20 for Rice). If you are pretty sure you'll stick with computer science as a major, UT might well be the better option for you especially with its significantly lower cost.
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  • vitiyoyo59vitiyoyo59 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Rice is not better overall. Where in the world did you get that idea? Rice is better in undergraduate acceptance rate because it is a smaller school. Overall, UT is the better and more consequential school.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30510 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I agree Rice is overall a better school, but I believe cost is a big issue.
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  • ricegradricegrad 74 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited June 14
    I understand that people who like certain universities want to believe they are the best, that is a natural and human thing to believe. And the truth is that no university is best at everything so there will always be a case for whatever university you might want to look at.

    But the numbers certainly don't suggest UT is more academically rigorous than Rice. Rice is a top-20 school in the country for academics while UT hovers either just inside or outside the top 50 depending on exactly which survey you look at. In the commonly used US News rankings, which are not the be-all and end-all but do serve as a useful benchmark, Rice ranks #17 in the nation while UT is currently #48.

    Other quantative measures go along with this. For example 75 percent of Rice students score better than a 1490 on their SATs while only 25 percent of UT-Austin students score better than a 1470. That tells you an average UT-Austin student with an SAT of 1360 wouldn't even be considered by Rice unless the student happened to have nonacademic achievements that were well above average, while a well-below-average Rice student with a SAT of "only" 1490 would be stronger than 75-80% of UT students. Of course SATs aren't everything but the numbers are very similar if you look at GPAs or other quantitative student measures.

    Of course numbers are not everything. UT has probably the single strongest alumni network in the country and offers a much broader course catalog for its students. UT also has a larger student body, a much stronger sports presence, provides the option of Greek life for students who want it, and has a much more Texas-centric undergraduate student body, making it a potentially better choice for students who value those aspects of student life. It is also stronger in certain specific majors like computer science, which was mentioned by the OP as a factor in his own decisiomaking. And yes as @cptofthehouse says cost is a big issue, with UT very frequently the cheaper option despite the significant financial aid Rice provides for its students.

    The point is that everyone should always do their homework and make the undergraduate choice that is right for them. There's no one-size-fits-all answer. But if you are looking only at general academic quality and are undecided between Rice and UT, one is clearly better than the other (even though to be fair both are academically outclassed by places like Harvard and MIT).
    edited June 14
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  • blackbelt2.0blackbelt2.0 21 replies8 threads Junior Member
    For future reference to anyone looking for advice, I ultimately chose UT because I realized the very small size of Rice isn't quite my thing and because Austin is better for recruiting in CS/ ECE.
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 Forum Champion Rice 1293 replies29 threads Forum Champion
    Thank you for letting us know your decision. You had great choices. Hook em'
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  • dadof3and1dogdadof3and1dog 70 replies5 threads Junior Member
    In terms of comparing acceptance data, Rice ranks better than UT. However, that is an apples to oranges comparison that does not tell the full story. Rice is a private school that can and does admit a selective undergrad class. UT is a public school that by law must admit a certain number of Texas high school students who meet a specific class rank requirement without regard to GPA and test scores.

    My point is making an academic comparison between a public school like UT and a private school is not that meaningful, but I understand that ranking list and empirical data is what most students rely on.

    Personally, between the 2 schools, UT outshines Rice.
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