Don't use your Rice Fee Waiver!!!

If any of you have received a Rice university fee waiver, let’s consider some facts:

Colleges absolutely love having a high turnover (the ratio of students accepted to students who actually attend). It’s the reason that they consider legacy, it’s the reason that early decision or restrictive early action are things.

By giving a fee waiver, Rice is inviting a huge number of top students to apply to their school. A large percentage of these students are already going to be accepted into other colleges. Possibly better colleges. Rice gives away this fee waiver knowing that a high percentage of those who use it won’t even attend, even if accepted. Why? so that Rice can reject them. Rice already knows most of these people won’t attend, so why accept them at all? They just have you apply so that they can further their turnover rates and say that they denied lots of tops students: wow, Rice is looks like such a great college in rankings now?

So what should you take from this? In regular decision (for early decision, the above logic doesn’t apply), don’t use the fee waiver if you’re financially capable. Because if you do, you group yourself into a “Rice reject” category. Make yourself seem more dedicated than the thousands of students who’re only applying to Rice because it’s free, and wouldn’t otherwise.

Many colleges offer fee waivers to attract applications. It is not at all uncommon. I can’t imagine Rice would turn down a candidate simply for using the fee waiver.

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I’m not a kid, and my kids aren’t applying to Rice. So I have no horse in this race.

But are you saying that Rice is purposely sending out fee waivers as a ruse, to entice innocent kids into applying, knowing that they will reject every kid who dares to try to save $50 or whatever it is?

And aren’t most of Rice’s applicants top students, many of whom will attend other schools?

OK, two reactions:’

  1. It sound an awful lot like sour grapes.
  2. If I honestly believed this of any college, it would come off my list immediately.

You are a high school senior with no inside information on Rice. Your post is an opinion, albeit uninformed.

No I’m not saying Rice rejects ever student who uses the fee waiver. But I believe if you take two equal students where one used the waiver and one didn’t, the obvious choice of any admissions Officer is to chose the one who didn’t use the fee waiver. Higher turnover. And yes I agree that nobody would turn down an applicant simply because of a fee waiver, but it categorizes you in a group that is designed for turning down. This is all common sense, no need for any inside information.

For those of you reading this: you can believe the masses: go ahead use your waiver. But the masses don’t get into a top school like Rice. It’s, what, $80? Why risk it?

What do you mean by “turnover” in this context? I am not familiar with that term as applied to admissions. Do you mean yield? Why would yield would be different in the fee waiver vs no fee waiver population if their stats are indeed equal, as in your example above?

Presumably, both populations would have opportunities at other schools both higher- and lower-ranked than Rice. And there are probably price-sensitive students in both populations, since Rice does not consider (or even have) financial aid info when the waivers are granted.

Bro use your brain

People see that rice is peer and are like what the heck I’ll just apply, yolo. There not nearly as interested as the people who’re willing to pay money to apply

Rice is not an easy application, so I expect that most students who go through the effort to complete it are interested in attending if the conditions are right. Otherwise it is just a waste of time (and money, since scores and transcripts still must be sent).

As you noted above, the students who receive the waiver are top students – and Rice is an “elite” school by most standards. It makes no sense to me why an AO would use a fee waiver as a differentiator btw two equally qualified applicants. But you seem convinced of it…why don’t you call them and ask?

I use my brain on a fairly regular basis, thanks. I have an Associate’s, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree, and have been teaching high school seniors for decades. Some years I’ve taught courses for college credit, some years not. I’ve also gotten paid for freelance writing… I’ve had some articles published and have done some freelance writing on some well known education sites.

This may be your first rodeo, but it’s not mine.

If we’re going to play the “What does Rice think?” game, I think Rice would think less of any student who isn’t smart enough to take $80 of savings for his parents-- most of you guys are NOT paying your own fees and we all know it-- when it’s handed to them.

It’s very easy to say “It’s only $80” when you’re not the one up at 5 am on your way out in a storm to earn that $80.

Again, I’m pretty sure that Rice doesn’t care at all. But you seem to care, a lot. So don’t apply.

Turnover is a pastry. What you are describing is called yield. And most every school uses marketing to attract applicants. Rice is no different. Another example of a new poster with bad advice. Maybe you are trying to get people to not apply to Rice so your chances are better. Try harder.

It’s smart marketing, finding those kids whose scores are high, typically on subject tests. And as @bjkmom pointed out, it can be very helpful financially for many kids. Especially those who don’t qualify for a fee waver through the common app.

As others have said, Rice’s application is not easy in that it has 4 supplemental essays, all of which are designed to get a complete picture of the applicant, an understanding of the person behind the application. They are individually not difficult questions, but a they do take time and thought and 3 of them are specific to Rice. For Rice, fit is paramount - Rice wants students who understand Rice. Students who the AOs can see on the Rice campus, contributing to the Rice community (and beyond).

^This is what I thought when I first read this post.

I’m not trying to deter you from Rice, where have I ever argued for that? I’m simply giving you advice on your application. Take it or don’t.

I do care a lot, because it’s my college admission. I’m paying the full fee because I care about getting into Rice. Feel free to use the fee waiver, and risk higher chances of rejection.

Closing thread. OP expressed an opinion (which is fine), but now the thread is just going in circles.