Rice U. continues to be ranked among the country’s top 20 best universities


B.J. Almond

Rice U. continues to be ranked among the country’s top 20 best universities

Rice is also a top 10 best-value school in the 2013 US News rankings

HOUSTON — (Sept. 12, 2012) — Rice University is ranked No. 17 in U.S. News & World Report’s guide to America’s best colleges for the ninth consecutive year.

In the 2013 edition of “Best Colleges,” Rice is tied with the University of Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University for No. 17 among 281 schools classified as national universities — schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s and doctoral degrees and, like Rice, have a strong emphasis on research. Harvard and Princeton universities are tied for first place.

The rankings are determined by peer assessment of academic quality, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, high school counselors’ ratings of colleges, and the graduation rate performance – the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates.

In addition to being ranked among the country’s top 20 schools, which Rice has done every year since 1988, Rice also made U.S. News’ list of the top 10 best-value schools. Rice is No. 10 on the list, which is based on academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid.

Rice is also No. 10 (tied with Cornell) on the list of national universities demonstrating economic diversity, as determined by the percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants. Seventeen percent of students at Rice receive Pell Grants, which are awarded to low-income students.

U.S. News ranked Rice No. 11 among national universities whose students graduate with the least debt.

Rice appears on U.S. News’ list of top 20 national universities with a high proportion of racial and ethnic diversity. On a scale in which 1 represents a more diverse student population, Rice scored 0.68 percent along with two other schools that tied for No. 18 on the list.

On the list of high school counselors’ top picks, Rice is tied for No. 17 with four other schools. U.S. News counts high school guidance counselors’ opinions as part of the academic reputation measure for national universities, along with ratings by college admissions officers, provosts and presidents.

Among the best undergraduate engineering programs whose highest degree is a doctorate, Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering is in a four-way tie for No. 16 — up from No. 17 last year. About one-third of Rice undergraduates are engineering majors, and half of the total research dollars at Rice are from the School of Engineering.

For more on the U.S. News rankings, visit www.usnews.com/colleges.

In other recent rankings, Rice was ranked No. 1 for happiest students by the Princeton Review and No. 3 among national universities by Alumni Factor for alumni satisfaction with their education and careers.


Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://futureowls.rice.edu/images/futureowls/Rice_Brag_Sheet.pdf.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005



About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.