Rice vs. Tufts Help!

Hello! I’ve been admitted to these schools, costs are comparable, and I love both, but I do have some issues with each so I’m very conflicted. Here’s my current thinking:

Major: Cognitive Science/Neuroscience (something brain-related)

-happiness – lack of stress culture, competition, pre-professional anxiety etc.
-fun – frequent open, non-toxic parties and events that students love attending
-adventure – easy access to and transportation around a city
-flexibility – academic freedom to explore (and possibly double major in something sociology/public policy related)
-interdisciplinariness (?) – in majors/classes, and in distribution of subjects people are studying, so it doesn’t feel super weighted towards engineering or premed or humanities etc.

Rice: residential colleges and culture sound amazing, but worried about Texas’ political culture (I’m very liberal and LGBTQ+), hot weather (I’m from the mid-atlantic and love fall + snow) and accessibility of Houston without a car

Tufts: love Boston, the activism emphasis, and emphasis on playfulness + creativity, but worried about social life (are parties mostly greek-life-related etc) and about a sense of competition + disgruntledness, as in “I wanted to go to the Ivies but now I’m here” even though obviously Tufts is amazing–basically is it as happy of a school as Rice (which is super high up in happiness rankings)?

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!

(note: my friend “eleanxr” recently tried to post this question for me but the thread got shut down so if you already replied thanks so much for your advice!)

I’d recommend Rice, but you seem to lean Tufts …
Can’t go wrong with either.

Congrats and Good Luck

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thank you! would you mind elaborating on why you’d recommend Rice?

Have a soft spot for that school.
It’s a school that’s uniformly strong in most disciplines.
Well balanced. Great facilities and a very happy student body. And it’s a college … so
I wouldn’t worry about it not being liberal enough.

(but Tufts is pretty awesome - go with your gut)

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For what it’s worth, nearly every elected official in Houston and surrounding Harris County is a Democrat, Biden won the area by double-digits, and Houston was the first city of its size to have an openly gay mayor, Anise Parker (a Rice alum). And Rice is surely even more liberal than the city itself. So I don’t think conservatism and anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes will be a problem. Nor will access to Houston; the university’s in a great neighborhood (full of museums and restaurants) and close to light rail. The heat and humidity, however, are not to be dismissed!


Strongly recommend Rice over Tufts. By the way, I am from Boston, but both my kids visited Rice and loved it.

If you are interested in a medical field, nothing compares to Rice. It has the world’s largest hospital complex literally across the street. My daughter who was interested in neuroscience at the time met with a professor during her college visit and he was talking about the numerous research opportunities that are available to undergrads.

Add to that “happiest students” award, and a great house system that Rice has, and Tufts by itself really doesn’t compare. That said, Tufts has the advantage of Boston, but from the perspective of the college where you will be spending most of your time, Rice wins.


How did I forget to mention the absolutely stunning campus that Rice has?

Interesting story: At my work there are a few people with kids nearing college age. This was pre COVID and I was showing some of them our college visit photos. Another person who wasn’t part of the conversation stopped by when I was showing a photo of Rice from inside the quad. His question was: “What castle is that?” Yes, it’s that stunning.


Wow that sounds amazing! Thanks so much for your help!