Rice University Admissions Essay

Rice University Admissions Essay-82
An applicant is considered in competition with all other applicants.

An applicant is considered in competition with all other applicants.

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Victoria Dianzungu spent a week perfecting her application to Rice University.

She then waited more than a month to submit it, rereading her essays.

We use a broader perspective that includes such qualitative factors as the overall strength and competitive ranking of a student’s prior institution, the rigor of his or her particular course of study, letters of recommendation, essays, responses to application questions, and (where required) auditions and portfolios.

Taken together with a student’s academic record and test scores, these additional factors provide a sound basis to begin assessing the applicant’s potential on all levels.

Rice has seen applications soar since 2004, when President David Leebron came to the university from Columbia Law School. In the old system, individual admissions officers here and around the country took home files over the weekend and worked late nights from November through March, former Rice admissions officers said.

Applications would then be passed to a second reader, said Jake Sisco, who left Rice to work at Wellesley College in Massachusetts in November.First, because of the discussion and collaborative notes, staff no longer write individual summaries of applications that needed to be passed among employees. Because junior and senior staff members pair off, a newer employee asks questions as he or she reads an application.A seasoned admissions officer answers in real time.Admissions officers worked during regular business hours in three- or four-hour sessions each day, in addition to a few Saturdays, she said.Between 30 and 50 colleges and universities are now using team-based reading, Romero da Silva said.The 17-year-old high-school senior had no idea that it would likely take two Rice staff members less than 10 minutes to do a primary review of her transcript, test scores, essays and recommendations.Rice speeded up and overhauled its evaluation process this year after the elite private university lured away a top University of Pennsylvania admissions dean who oversaw the development of the method — called committee-based evaluation.In future years, Romero da Silva said, the reading process can go even faster.Having one box for notes instead of several, for example, reduces clicks and can “shave off seconds” — which adds up to hours, she said.Team-based approach This year, two Rice admissions officers sat together as they reviewed an application on separate computer screens.Talking about an application with a colleague mitigates a reader’s personal bias, Romero da Silva said.


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