Rice University and UT Austin Announced as Ivy League Schools
Rice University
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Two prestigious Texas universities, the University of Texas (UT) in Austin and Rice University in Houston, have joined the ranks of Ivy League institutions, according to Forbes magazine. The two institutions are “attracting the smartest students and plaudits from employers.”

This development comes as great news for international students, who are enrolled in large numbers at these two Texas schools, especially after India recently surpassed China as the top source of international graduate students, according to the Open Doors Report.

In their methodology, Forbes researchers removed the eight classic Ivy League institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Penn, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Cornell), as well as the “Ivy-plus yardstick” (Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, and the University of Chicago). The researchers stated that this evaluation came as traditional Ivy League institutions have “faced a barrage of complaints in recent years” related to admissions policies, grade inflation at several elite schools, and university officials’ responses to on-campus protests regarding the Israel-Hamas War.

Forbes then evaluated schools with a minimum of 4,000 students to ensure fair comparisons between smaller liberal arts schools and larger research universities. They analyzed schools with high standardized test scores and a minimum of 50 percent of applicants submitting them for admission considerations. The researchers also used an admissions rate threshold of 20 percent or below for private institutions and 50 percent or below for public schools.

After compiling a final list of 42 schools, Forbes consulted with hiring manager respondents to determine which schools’ students rose to the top of prospective employers’ priority lists.

UT Austin has an undergraduate student population just below 40,000, with a 31 percent acceptance rate. At Rice University, the private institution in Houston has an undergraduate enrolment of just over 4,200, with a 9 percent acceptance rate.

For the 50th percentile of SAT and ACT scores, UT’s admitted students earned an average of 1370 on the SAT and 30 for the ACT, with 85 percent of prospective students submitting those scores for admission considerations.

At Rice, admitted students earned an average of 1540 on the SAT and 35 on the ACT in the 50th percentile. Among its prospective students, 76 percent submitted those test scores as part of their applications.

Rice University has long been considered an Ivy League school of the South. With an acceptance rate of only 8.7 percent, the private research university located in Houston is extremely selective. According to the U.S. News & World Report, half of the applicants admitted to Rice who submitted test scores reported SAT scores between 1490 and 1570, or ACT scores between 34 and 36.

UT Austin, one of the largest universities in the nation with an acceptance rate of 31 percent and an average ACT score between 29 and 34, is ranked 32 on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best National Universities.

UT Austin has been in the spotlight lately due to on-campus protests that resulted in dozens of arrests over the war in Gaza, as students demand the school divest from companies that support Israel. Additionally, a statewide ban on diversity, equity, and inclusion resources led the school to lay off about 50 employees and shut down DEI offices.

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