I want to go to Rice university but my SAT scores are pretty low. My unweighted GPA is 3.91 and my weighted GPA is 4.98. I have a pretty extensive list of extracurriculars. Do you think I still have a chance of getting in?
Thank you for question. I went to look at the Common Data Set for Rice under 2021-22 and Section C7 which is a table of relative importance factors for the schools. The columns are broken down into Very Important, Important, Considered and Not Considered. And the rows are the criteria like Academic Rigor, GPA, Class Rank, Standardized Test Scores, Essays and Recommendation. For RICE, all these 6 things are Very Important in addition to ECs, Talent and Personal Character.
If you search further down to Table C9, you will see that 75% of Admitted Students submitted either the SAT or ACT. So only 25% of admits didn't submit a test score. At Rice my best guess is that about 5% are legacies, 9% are recruited athletes and1% are either children of faculty or very rich donor kids. 70 out the total 510 students admitted ED (14%) were Questbridge students, most come from low income, first gen backgrounds so they don't have great test scores and often don't submit them. So besides the ALDC admits and community service non-profit admits like QB, I think these represent most of the missing 25%.
It would not be responsible for me to say you shouldn't apply to Rice so you need to make up your own mind. Just be aware that Standardized Tests and Class Rank are very important at Rice. Like all STEMy schools Rice, JHU, MIT, CalTech, CMU and Harvey Mudd, if you are applying for STEM major you are going to have the same competition because a CS major applicant is going to apply to the same list of colleges.
My suggestion to you if Rice is your dream school is to apply to an under subscribed major but also have ECs to back up the choice. So if you pick Natural Resources/Conservation, have some ECs that have to do with environmental studies and such.
Just a question, isn’t Rice test optional for this year? Wouldn’t it be better to not send scores in if it’s low low?
Since your GPA is super high and you have good extracurriculars. If you write a rlly good essay and personal statement, it might be better to leave your score out since other applicants who send scores in would be in the top percentile—making your score look really low in comparison.
I would ask your guidance counselor.
Admissions decisions are holistic however test scores are still a consideration at Rice. Some of the decisions are based on your major. I was told Rice also looks at your score for specific areas that apply to your major (for example math for engineering or science for majors with that focus). This allows some grace for high scores in your area of study and a lower score in a different section. I would focus on your essay and ensure all other areas of your application are outstanding. If you apply, you have a chance. If you don’t, the answer is automatically no. Best of luck!
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