Rice University GPA, SAT, and ACT Data

Rice University Admission Standards

Rice University GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission.
Rice University GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. Data Courtesy of Cappex.com

With an acceptance rate of 15 percent, Rice University is the most selective college in Texas, and the university was very close to making a list of the 20 most selective colleges and universities in the entire country.  Rice made the list of best universities, top Texas colleges, and top South Central colleges.

For the class of 2020, Rice notes these statistics for the middle 50 percent of admitted students. The SAT scores are for the old SAT. You can convert them with the CollegeBoard SAT Score Converter.

  • SAT Critical Reading: 710 to 790
  • SAT Math: 730 to 800
  • SAT Writing: 700 to 790
  • ACT Composite: 33 to 35

How do you measure up at Rice University?  Calculate your chances of getting in with this free tool from Cappex.

Rice University GPA, SAT, and ACT Graph

So what grades and standardized test scores are you going to need to be admitted to Rice University? In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. You can see that most successful applicants had solid "A" averages, SAT scores (RW+M) of 1300 or higher, and ACT composite scores of 28 or higher. The higher those numbers, the better your chance of an acceptance letter. The reality is that your chances will be best with an SAT score above 1400 or an ACT composite score of 32 or better.

Note that there's a lot of red and yellow (rejected and waitlisted students) hidden behind the green and blue—many students with grades and test scores that were on target for Rice did not get in. At the same time, you'll see that a few students were accepted with test scores and grades below the norm. This is because Rice University has holistic admissions—the admissions folks are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. A rigorous high school curriculum, winning essay, and interesting extracurricular activities all contribute to a winning application. High grades in challenging Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and/or Honors courses will be essential, but accepted students tend to stand out on the non-academic front as well.

Rejection Data for Rice University

A graph of SAT, ACT and GPA data for students who were rejected from Rice University.
A graph of SAT, ACT and GPA data for students who were rejected from Rice University. Data courtesy of Cappex.com

Stripping out the acceptance data from the graph, you get a better picture of just how selective Rice University is. Plenty of applicants with 4.0 unweighted GPAs and extremely high SAT/ACT scores get rejected. The reasons for rejecting such strong students can be many: the applicants didn't reveal meaningful extracurricular interests outside of the classroom; the applicants didn't challenge themselves by taking demanding courses in high school; the applicants' essays were sloppy or shallow; the applicant failed to demonstrate interest in Rice convincingly; and so on.

There are a handful of colleges and universities in the United States that are so selective that all applicants would be wise to consider them reach schools even if their grades and standardized test scores are on target for admission. Rice falls into this category. If your heart is set on Rice, great. Go for it. Tips for how to get into an Ivy League School will provide some relevant guidance. But don't put all your eggs in this one basket. You'll want some backup plans in case Rice doesn't admit you.

If You Like Rice University, You May Also Like These Schools

This list includes schools that Rice Applicants tend to consider, but realize that the universities on this list are also highly selective. You'll want to apply to few less selective schools to make sure you have some options when acceptance and rejection letters get sent out.