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Why Rice? Intellectual atmosphere and traditions eg. celebrations revolving around Willy's statue.

anageecantu 1 / 5 1  
Oct 30, 2016   #1
What motivated you to apply to Rice University? Please be specific. (250 word limit)

Ever since I was a kid, my parents encouraged me to work towards my goals, no matter how impossible they seemed at the time. For them, the most important goal my siblings and I could have was having a postsecondary education, ideally at the best university we could possibly attend. And so, with this expectation, I researched colleges early on in my life--Rice being one of them. Described as "Texas' Ivy League," Rice boasted the intellectual integrity of an elite university while also being in one of the funnest cities in the country. Even from my early research I knew Rice was among the most competitive, interesting universities I could ever hope to attend--I knew I wanted to go there. In addition to the intellectual atmosphere, I have always wanted to participate in the Rice's traditions, such as the celebrations revolving around Willy's statue and the support system of the houses in the residential college system.

Throughout my high school career, I contemplated whether I would belong at Rice. Being a considerably introverted person, I hope that in the huge city of Houston I will be able to become more social. In addition to being an increasingly competitive scholar, I know being in a challenging environment such as Rice will help me grow as a student. In the end, my attending Rice will not only make me a better student--it'll make me a better person.

cb8156 5 / 9 4  
Oct 31, 2016   #2
I like this essay and I think you have a great basis here. I would maybe change the word "integrity" to "prowess". It just didn't seem like integrity really had the right connotation there.

I am also a little confused, are you applying to Rice because of your parents, as you opened it, or for yourself, as you ended the essay? If it is both, you might want to communicate that in your concluding sentence. If your parents' input really doesn't have much to do with why you are applying, then don't worry about including it and focus more on why /you/ want to go to Rice.

I think that last statement is a little cliche, and maybe make it a little more unique by stating how you think attending Rice will make you a better person. I think you should go more into how you want to be more social and want to be pushed out of your comfort zone: intellectually, academically and socially, and how Rice will help you accomplish those goals.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,529 3444  
Oct 31, 2016   #3
Ana, since there is no clear connection between your parents and your interest in Rice University, there is no real meaning behind mentioning them. All parents wish that their children would go to college so that is not even something important to mention in this essay. The reason you are applying is because your parents want you to go to college. There is no real motivation behind that paragraph so you should develop another one, a more related one in its place.

Now, when you speak of motivation to attend the university, it doesn't really come across as impressive when you tell the reviewer that you decided to apply to the university based upon an internet search. That is not only impersonal, but is tantamount to saying, "I liked your student brochure so I decided to apply." There is a lack of personal connection between your interest in the university and the university offerings itself.

Use the part that has you speaking about the "intellectual elite" at the university. That could be basis of your highly simple, yet informative short statement response to the essay. Admiration for the university is key in such responses and the programs that impress you, can more than show a motivation for you to decide to enroll at Rice.
OP anageecantu 1 / 5 1  
Oct 31, 2016   #4
Hello, I'm not sure if I can bother you to read a revision, but if so, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Your comments helped a lot, and I'd really like to know if this second draft is any better. If it's not too much of a hassle, please let me know what I can fix. Thanks!

DRAFT #2 [..]
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,529 3444  
Oct 31, 2016   #5
Hi Ana, it's no bother at all. I'm happy to review your work. After all, I already started helping you and I don't intend to stop helping you until you tell me that you don't need my help anymore. Feel free to bother me anytime you want to. Now, as for the response you have written. The second part is already an acceptable reason for opting to attend Rice. However, the first part still needs work. I would rather that you revise your response to something that relates directly to the academic world of Rice. What major do you plan to enroll in? Have you given any thought as to how Rice compares to the other universities that offer the same degree? Maybe you can base your decision to attend Rice mostly on the options based on the curriculum of your major? That would really show a deep analysis and personal decision and conviction when it comes to your decision to attend Rice.
OP anageecantu 1 / 5 1  
Oct 31, 2016   #6
Hello again! Thank you so much for your speedy responses. Well, I plan on pursuing a degree in English. Per your advice, I tried looking into Rice's program but it has been said that their English department is pretty weak as Rice is primarily a STEM school. Should I address this? Thanks!
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,529 3444  
Oct 31, 2016   #7
Whoops! Then that really places you in a quandary. Since it is a STEM school, it won't be easy to justify your choice to major in English there. However, it is not impossible to do so. I want you to look up the following notable author names who are graduates of Rice University. Find some commonality between you guys that Rice might offer. I mean, since these guys graduated from Rice and became well known names, then Rice must be doing something right in their English department. Now, I am not sure if these people graduated from the English department so you will have to find that out on your own. Here are the names: Candace Bushnell, David Eagleman, and Joyce Carol Oats. If you are pressed to find a commonality, then just say something along the lines that you wish to be inspired by your university the way these authors who studied there were also influenced by the ideology and teaching style of the university. That should fix it for you.
OP anageecantu 1 / 5 1  
Oct 31, 2016   #8
Good idea! I also mentioned on how as Rice is primarily a research-based institution, this would present opportunities for me.

Would you mind reviewing a longer essay? Your advice is clear and I need that. I completely understand if not. If not, thank you for all your help on this response. :)
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,529 3444  
Oct 31, 2016   #9
Don't forget to highlight the research that you might be interested in. It helps to mention specific programs and training facilities that they have which can help you further your skills within your chosen major. I would love to read the new version. You may be able to perfect this just yet and in time for the deadline. Don't forget to name one or two of the alumna just to show a direct successful influence on your decision to attend Rice. It shows you really took the time to get to know the school and find commonalities that helped you make the decision.

In response to your question, I will not mind reading a new and longer essay. Just as long as you post it as a new thread in the forum. Sorry, those are the rules, I just follow them. Don't post a new essay in this thread. It will just get deleted. I'll wait for the new, longer essay.

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