What is appropriate to mention in my Common App for Rice?

Hello! My name is Nia and I am a high school senior. I’ve been trying to prepare myself for writing my Common App for early decision all summer but can’t seem to shake the anxiety that I’m doing it wrong. I am currently answering the “What personal perspectives would you contribute to life at Rice?” question but am not sure what is appropriate? For instance, is it appropriate to address the reader directly or talk about how politics or hardships have shaped my life? I would describe myself as a high achieving and well-rounded student but am not sure if that comes across overly generic for this question. I have so far included my cultural experiences and aspirations, as well as shared a few examples of my extracurricular activities. Perhaps I am confused about what this question is truly asking? Please let me know! I would appreciate any feedback/reassurance on this. Thank you for your time!

This is another form of the “diversity essay” that many schools have, just worded a bit differently. Basically they want to know what is unique about you that you bring to the campus and community. This is a chance for them to learn a little about you personally beyond what activities you’ve done and classes you’ve taken, things that show who you are as a person and what you care about. You can talk about things like interests, hobbies, talents, opinions, perspectives, values, experiences, languages, family, personality traits, etc. So it’s telling both who you are as a person and what you bring to the community. You can do a google search of diversity essays to find some more information about how to approach these.

I think the key is to be authentic and not just say what you think the admissions committee wants to hear.

Yes that is great advice from @PrdMomto1. Everyone will claim to be high-achieving, well-rounded, etc but what you must do in your app is illustrate how and why that is true for you. Best wishes and good luck!

Diversity in perspectives and thought can mean multiple things: it can be your cultural or geographic background for sure, but also the community that you come from, that you anticipate yourself being a part of at Rice as a prospective STEM student, English major etc. The essays are the most “real” part of your application other than the interview, as it’s how Rice Admissions will assess if you’ll fit well with the school’s culture (which is not super competitive, but collaborative given its relatively smaller size/residential college system.)

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!