Rice vs. Tufts Help!

Hi! My friend (who doesn’t have a college confidential account) has been accepted to both Rice and Tufts and is trying to decide between them. Does anyone have any advice or considerations about either school?

Major: cognitive science/neuroscience, considering a double major in public policy

Important considerations in her decision:
-stress culture
-non toxic, open social scene outside of greek life
-not interested in participating in greek life
-city/off campus environment
-social life
-flexibility in class options
-interdisciplinary classes

She really likes Boston and is apprehensive about living in Texas (we live in the northeast/mid-atlantic us), and finds the academics comparable. Any advice is appreciated!

This is a tough one.

A week ago I would have said Rice but I recently saw Exters placements and seeing how many ended up at Tufts tells me her network for top paying jobs will be better at Tufts. Many of the students that graduate from Exter become very accomplished in life.

University of Chicago 38
Columbia University 34
Yale University 31
Georgetown University 26
Tufts University 26
Brown University 23
Harvard University 23
University Pennsylvania 21
MIT 20
Princeton University 20
Cornell University 19
Wellesley College 19
Carnegie Mellon 17
New York University 14
Bowdoin College 13
Wesleyan University 13
Northeastern University 12
Northwestern University 12
Trinity College 12
UC Berkeley 11
University of Michigan 11
University of Virginia 11
Bates College 10
Colby College 10
Middlebury College 10
Stanford University 10
Williams College 10
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 9
Dartmouth College 8

thanks for your response! do you mind elaborating on why you would’ve said rice a week ago?

Well Rice is higher ranked than Tufts. But that’s not an issue because Rice is less well known. It’s a great school but it doesn’t have a huge a name. I would have the same thing about Tufts but the top students seem to love going there. I mean just look at how many Exeter places there!

At the end of the day you want to pick the school where the elites go too.

But your in a pickle. I would say it’s a tie. What about cost? Whats tuition at both school? Not worth saddling another 50k more in debt for Rice in my opinion.

Has your friend been to Tx or making assumptions? If she doesn’t like it for real, doesn’t sound like a debate. If she thinks she won’t like it because she’s from the Northeast, she has three weeks to get down there.

My DD, also from the Northeast, was faced with the same decision a year ago and chose Rice. High on her list of reasons was the way that Rice intentionally builds a strong and supportive community of learners. Central to their community building efforts is their residential college system modeled on similar systems at Harvard and Yale. It begins with their week long student led orientation week before the beginning of the first semester of freshman year and students continue for 4 years in the same residential college, which becomes the center of their social and community life.

With regard to your specific issues:

  1. Rice has a low stress social scene. Political discussions are low key or not at all and it is not an activist campus.

  2. There is no Greek life at Rice. There is Greek life at Tufts, but the majority of students do not participate.

  3. Tufts is in a quiet residential neighborhood in Medford. a Boston suburb. Not much going on there, but you’re about 2 1/2 miles north of Harvard Square, 15-20 minutes away by bike or bus. Rice is in a great city neighborhood across the street from massive Texas Medical Center and Herman Park with the Houston Zoo, Japanese Garden, and golf course. Adjacent is Houston’s Museum District. A little farther is the theater district.

  4. Both schools have a lot of flexibility in class options since there is no core curriculum at either school although both do have some distribution requirements.

  5. Cognitive science/neuroscience is inherently interdisciplinary and both schools approach it that way. Both schools are strong in this department. Although Rice probably gets a little more national recognition for this, both are strong enough that what you get out of it is probably going to depend mostly on what you put into it. Both have good programs in public policy.

  6. I haven’t gotten much feedback on the social scene because things are so different this year due to Covid.

These are two great schools of similar size, each of which is at the top of the list for many students. You can’t go wrong with either one. Your friend did a great job of picking 2 schools which are both perfect matches for what she’s interested in. I too am intimidated by Texas, but I wouldn’t worry about this with regard to Rice because the majority of students come to Rice from all over the country and around the world.

Since she likes Boston, she could pick Tufts without any reservations.

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Closing. Your friend needs to ask their own questions. Asking for a Friend posts are not allowed.