Admissions and Aid

General Questions

How is Rice University handling the coronavirus?

For the spring semester, Rice shifted all classes to remote instruction. Campus activities remain closed to all but essential functions, including supporting a small cohort of students who remain on campus. For detailed information regarding Rice's response to COVID-19, click here.

Are the admission and financial aid offices open for business?

During normal business hours, our office is operating remotely, and will continue to answer any admission or financial aid questions by email or phone (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT).

Can I visit campus?

We understand that campus visits are a significant part of your college search process and we would love to share ours with you. Based on the current recommendations of the Rice University Crisis Management Team, and to help ensure the safety and well-being of our campus community and guests, we are not able to offer campus visit events including information sessions, tours, overnight visits, lunch visits, and class visits. We invite you to explore our virtual event options open to everyone.

Prospective Students/Applicants

Will you accept English proficiency exams other than the TOEFL/IELTS?

Yes, we will accept the Duolingo English Test. The minimum acceptable score is 120.

Will my admission decision be impacted if COVID-19 has limited my school’s ability to provide my application materials?

In accordance with our commitment to a holistic review process, we will be as accommodating as possible while maintaining integrity within the overall admission and financial aid processes. School administrators may contact the Office of Admission at riceapps@rice.edu for guidance on how to submit required materials on behalf of their students.

How will Rice view grade policy changes that my high school has made in light of COVID-19??

In light of the school year disruption caused by COVID-19 and remote learning modifications, we are prepared to accept the grading policies your high school or school district has implemented for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Should there be disruptions to the 2020-2021 academic year, we will make adjustments to accept those policy changes as well.

Has Rice adjusted its standardized testing policy as a result of recent test administration cancellations?

As a result of COVID-19, standardized testing in Spring 2020 was severely disrupted with widespread cancellations of national and school day test administrations. Recently, the College Board and ACT have announced plans for testing in the fall that represents a best case scenario – however, there are many factors that could lead to the cancellation of test administrations beyond the control of the testing organizations or individual test sites. In addition, individual students may not be able to access fall administrations due to limited testing capacity, lack of adequate and safe transportation, or the fear of putting the student or family members at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

In light of this, Rice will allow first-year and transfer student applicants to undergraduate, degree-seeking programs for the 2020-2021 application cycle to submit SAT or ACT test scores, if they choose. Students who are unable to submit tests, or prefer not to submit test scores, will be given full consideration in the admission selection process. More information about our testing policy is provided here.

I haven't been able to participate in any extracurricular activities due to social distancing. Will this impact my admission decision?

If you have been able to find ways to stay engaged with some of your interests, that’s wonderful, but we certainly understand if your focus has been on your academic studies and home responsibilities. This pause in normal activity may present opportunities to explore new passions or curiosities and for some may force new roles such as helping to educate younger siblings or preparing meals for family members who are working in essential jobs. No matter how you chose to spend your time, it will be of value to us. We share the hope that in time you will eventually be able to return to being engaged with those activities that allow you to explore your interests, talents and passions, even if that time is not now.

Financial Aid

Due to COVID -19, will my financial aid be affected?

No, your financial aid will not be affected. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Financial Aid by emailing fina@rice.edu.

What if my family’s situation has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our Appeals Committee will review any documented changes in finances for families that have been affected by COVID-19. The situation is still changing, but if you have any immediate questions or concerns, please reach out to us directly at fina@rice.edu. Appeals are given a thoughtful and thorough review by the Appeals Committee. Be sure to include ample supporting documentation for the Appeals Committee to review. Approval is not guaranteed, and in some cases approval may not result in an increase in aid. The Appeals Committee reserves the right to postpone review until an appropriate amount of time has passed for certain circumstances. Please refer to our special circumstances page for forms and more information.