You asked about Houston vs. Atlanta in the "old" forum. I've cut and pasted my response. Hope this helps!
We live in Atlanta and our son is a freshman at Rice, so perhaps I can chime in on this one. This is a tough question- as both are great choices. What are you planning to major in? That might sway my comments a bit. As for the cities, both have equally awful traffic (the Atlanta paper just featured an article on the severe traffic problems around Emory, and a friend who works on campus says it sometimes takes her 40' to drive 4 miles. Both cities can get quite humid (though Houston wins out on that one- but being from Fla, that shouldn't be a big issue for you!). Atlanta has true seasonal weather changes, and spring is particularly beautiful around here, unless you have allergies! While Emory has several hangouts right across from the campus entrance that are frequented by the students , the selection is limited. While Rice Village is a slightly longer walk/ride, it is much more charming and has a lot more to offer. The theater and museums are easier to get to from campus in Houston (right down the new rail line), but to be fair, as Emory is a larger school, they may have a bit more theater-type stuff on campus.(That's a guess). Personally, I think Rice draws academically stronger students. My son spent the summer after his junior year working at a pathology lab at Emory, and while it was a great experience and he loved the folks he worked with, he didn't even apply to Emory. He really loves the residential college system and the smaller size of Rice. And while it would have been great to have had him across town rather than a plane ride away, he is loving Rice , which makes us happy. In Texas he's closer to the beach (Galveston) and to the slopes of Colorado, should he want to get away. The only problem with Atlanta is that is is surrounded by... Georgia. I agree with the folks who have posted above me. Rice students do a lot together on campus. It really is a big family, if that is what you are looking for. Oh, and as for the areas surrounding campus, both Emory and Rice have one side with charming big old houses, and another side that is, generally, shall I say, less attractive. The big cement barricades around the CDC (Center for Disease Control) off the Emory campus are not too attractive. The apartments near campus are newer in Houston than in Atlanta, should you live off campus. Emory is in a generally more residential area, so activities off campus are a little harder to get to without a car. Atlanta's bus/rail system is pretty useless. Hope this helps. Good luck. You really can't go wrong with either choice.</p>
<p>I'd like to also respond to the questions about liberal vs. conservative that have been asked. It seems to me that Rice is pretty liberal for Texas, which makes it moderate by other standards. There are all types at Rice, and they have some wicked, wild fun as well as studying hard. The kids seem to be pretty motivated and interested in their futures - which I suppose seems "conservative" to some. My liberal, liberal daughter loves it there!</p>
<p>I live in Houston, and the city Houston itself is very liberal. Maybe it's because it's a diverse city. Although, in other parts of Texas it's very conservative...but Houston isn't as bad as everyone seems to make it out to be. Just because Houston, is in Texas doesn't automatically make it a conservative school.</p>