The Ivy Coach Daily

December 15, 2023

What To Do After Being Deferred by Rice University

This is the main entrance to Rice University.
Learn what should be your post-deferral game plan to Rice University (photo credit:
Katie Haugland Bowen).

Were you deferred by Rice University to its Class of 2028? If so, turn that frown upside-down. It could have been worse: you could have been denied admission outright during the toughest year in the history of Rice’s Early Decision program (the 15.3% ED admission rate for the Class of 2028 eclipsed last year’s record-low 16.5% ED admission rate for the Class of 2027). And, yes, Rice indeed denies Early Decision candidates. In short, they thought your application was strong enough to reconsider your case for admission in the Regular Decision round but not strong enough to earn admission outright. So, what are your chances of earning admission to Rice, and what can you do to optimize your odds?

Rice University Early Decision Acceptance Rates

Below, you’ll find Rice’s Early Decision statistics over the last seven admissions cycles:

Rice Class YearNumber of Early Decision ApplicationsNumber of Early Decision AcceptancesEarly Decision Acceptance Rate
Class of 20282,88644215.32%
Class of 20272,95348616.5%
Class of 20262,27551122.5%
Class of 20252,63547818.14%
Class of 20242,04244021.55%
Class of 20232,62840815.53%
Class of 20221,91637119.36%

Rice University Early Decision Deferral Rates

Historically, Rice has not published the percentage of students who are deferred. As the school also does not release the percentage of students who are denied, it would not be possible to glean either figure. That being said, from our experience at Ivy Coach, Rice denies many students, unlike some of its peer institutions that defer most applicants. A deferral from Rice is thus more meaningful than a deferral from some other elite schools.

5 Steps to Take After Being Deferred by Rice

If you were deferred by Rice, we recommend you adhere to the following five-step game plan:

  1. Clear your head. Take a few hours to pause and reflect before diving in on how you’ll be attacking the deferral. You can’t approach the process overwhelmed by emotion.
  2. Sign up for a complimentary consultation with Ivy Coach to learn about our deferral service.
  3. Complete a PostMortem application review with Ivy Coach. We’ll go through your full Common Application, Rice supplement, and two other supplements so you start getting the idea of what went wrong, what went right, and what should change before you submit your Regular Decision applications. You can’t change your Rice ED application, but your RD applications are still in your control.
  4. Submit a compelling Letter of Continued Interest to Rice with Ivy Coach’s assistance. The letter should be submitted within a few days of your deferral — not in the New Year (they’ll think you developed a case of sour grapes!). While most students know they should submit a letter post-deferral, they often submit the wrong kind of letter. Ivy Coach’s Letters of Continued Interest feature no brags or updates. It’s a big reason why they’re so effective. And if you’ve heard through the grapevine that our letters are weird, you got us. They sure are!
  5. In the New Year, bring your already submitted Letter of Continued Interest to Rice to your school counselor and ask if they’ll make an advocacy call on your behalf. This way, they can present you to Rice’s admissions committee as you presented yourself post-deferral. Keep in mind that some school counselors will refuse to make advocacy calls, often citing fairness and equity. But good school counselors will always make such calls. It’s their job!

What Not to Do After Being Deferred by Rice

If you were deferred by Rice, we recommend you avoid taking the following actions:

  1. Do not call the admissions office to find out why you didn’t get in. They’ll never tell you the genuine reason anyway. Plus, you’ll come across as annoying. Think about it — they don’t have good news to share with you. As such, they don’t wish to speak with you.
  2. Do not write the admissions office to find out why you didn’t get in. If you don’t know why this isn’t a good idea by now, there might be little hope for you.
  3. Do not send holiday presents to the admissions office. You’d be amazed what crazy things students do!
  4. Do not let your parent(s) call the admissions office. They don’t want to receive a phone call from you. Do you think they want to hear from your parents?
  5. Do not inundate Rice with further communications after submitting your compelling Letter of Continued Interest. Such communications will only drown out the power of your letter and render you a gadfly.

Rice Deferral FAQ

Does Rice accept, defer, and deny Early Decision candidates?

Yes, Early Decision candidates to Rice are either accepted, deferred, or denied.

Is a Rice deferral meaningful?

Yes, as Rice states on its website, “We defer only those applicants whom we intend to reevaluate for admission again later in the process.” So, unlike some elite universities, Rice doesn’t just defer all Early candidates (hi, Georgetown!).

Rice further states, “Admission rates vary from year to year based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool. There is no clear indication of your chances of admission after being deferred; however, nearly every year, we admit a number of students who have been deferred.”

When does Rice typically revisit the applications of their deferred pool?

Like most highly selective universities, Rice returns its attention to deferred candidates towards the end of the Regular Decision cycle.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Rice Deferral

If you’re interested in optimizing your case for admission to Rice after your deferral, fill out Ivy Coach’s complimentary consultation form, and we’ll then be in touch to delineate our go-forward services for deferred candidates to the Class of 2028.

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