Motivation

I hate when people who want to try their best are held back by a lack of resources or accessibility. Unfortunately, I am unable to hold everyone’s hand, but I can at least provide some resources that may help you move forwards.

I enabled comments on this page, so if you have any questions or need help, feel free to ask. I also implore anyone who knows more resources to share them with me so I can add them here. I hope this page helps and is seen as a resource for those who need it.

Please help me break the cycle!

For New Students

I have written a few letters to different groups of students at Rice University. I hope these letters can provide some comfort and guidance to those who need it.

To the members of the disabled and Neurodivergent community at Rice:

Truthfully, Rice still needs to work on supporting us. I’ve often had to report campus buildings lacking braille or questionable accessibility. It doesn’t help that you must submit paperwork to verify your situation. However, while all of this is true, I’d be the first to vouch for the help you can receive at Rice. Your professors, magisters, and peers will understand if you communicate. It won’t be perfect, but people care and try their best to help you overcome your challenges. That’s what Rice’s culture of care means, and I’m sure you will do the same for others. I hope you enjoy your time here, and remember, we all move at our own pace.

To my new Questies:

I can’t imagine what challenges you faced to arrive here, but let me assure you, those experiences will take you far. Unfortunately, you’ll have to use them as Rice will challenge you. It might not be academics; it might be due to living far from home, dealing with friends, or finding your place. College is a new experience and will present new challenges; fortunately, you will overcome them. You’ve already proven that by getting this far. It will be difficult, but as a Questie, I assure you that Rice will benefit from having you more than you’ll help them, so take every resource available. I know you’ll do great things here, but remember, it’s okay to ask for help – you don’t have to do it alone anymore.

To undocumented students at Rice:

I can’t start without acknowledging your challenges—I’m glad you’re here. I can’t begin to understand how hard you have tried, and precisely because of this, I’ll assure you: Rice will help. We are still establishing resources to support you, but know that Rice does not represent Texas; you’ll find peers who can understand your challenges. I won’t sugarcoat it; it will be demanding, but you’ve already overcome so much and will continue to do so. Rice will allow you to grow skills and connections that will help you in the future. Taking advantage of them will be up to you, but I know you will do great things here, so stand proud.

To members of a minority group who haven’t been addressed:

Welcome! Thank you for coming to Rice — your presence matters and enriches Rice. It’s hard to be the first or one of the few, but remember, there is power in your voice — use it with care. You might feel alone, but trust me, people can be understanding. You’ll find support in unexpected places and be surprised by how much you can learn from others. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and isolated but remember; you can be the one who starts a community and forms a place you belong. You’ll do great things here, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish.

FGLI Resources For Rice Students

Note

This section is specifically for Rice students. If you are not a Rice student, you can still use these resources, but some may not be applicable to you. Additionally, I copied most resources here from a private google document.

Financial (Aid around campus):

General Resources:

  • Rice AOP: https://aop.rice.edu/application:
    • The Access & Opportunity Portal supports the following:
    • Will sometimes help with car trouble expenses, groceries, and medical bills
    • Academic and course related fees not covered by financial aid
    • Assistance with laptop repair or replacement
    • Participation in student conferences, which could include travel costs
    • Expenses associated with commencement (e.g.: graduation fees, regalia, etc.)
    • Transportation costs associated with employment during the semester
    • MSAR/LSAT book guides
    • MCAT/GMAT/LSAT/GRE prep course and study materials or courses
    • Medical/Dental/Health-Professions School application fees
    • Secondary application fees
    • Interview travel and accommodations
    • Professional attire for employment or graduate school interviews not covered by outside organizations like Dress for Success or Career Gear
    • Travel and parking costs for a variety of experiences including off-campus interviews, externships, professional conferences
    • Career assessments such as the MBTI and the Strong Interest Inventory (offered through the Center for Career Development)
    • Fee for the Business Etiquette Lunch hosted by the Center for Career Development
    • Padfolios
    • The Access and Opportunity Portal will consider those requests from students experiencing financial challenges and are seeking support to allow them to participate in opportunities related to their academic, professional, social or interpersonal development. Requests for assistance are accepted on a rolling basis.
    • No limit to number of requests
    • Response time: 72 hours
    • Small “interview”/discussion with SSI required.
  • https://aop.rice.edu/making-textbook-aop-request

Dean of undergraduates emergency funds:

  • https://aop.rice.edu/dou-emergency-funding
  • Emergency Funding Requests should be made to the Dean of Undergraduates office for those financial needs which require urgent, immediate attention and in which the undergraduate student requesting support is actively in crisis. Because these requests will be reviewed immediately upon receipt, only those requests requiring same day resolution will be considered. Although not an exhaustive list, requests that could be considered to be an emergency and eligible for funding include:
  • Request for rent needed immediately due to impending eviction
  • Funding for co-pays or upfront costs associated with emergency surgery

Questbridge Emergency Fund:

  • https://www.questbridge.org/emergency-fund/application
  • “The purpose of the fund is to help support Scholars and Alumni who are struggling with unexpected emergency costs, such as an ER visit or a trip home for a family crisis. The fund does not grant money for costs that Scholars’ colleges may cover through financial aid, such as books or regular travel.”
  • Applicants are eligible to receive a grant once per year.
  • Grant turnaround is four weeks or less, with the idea that applicants should not have to take out additional loans in order to attend to an immediate issue
    • What is considered an emergency? “We define an emergency as an unplanned expense that puts significant financial pressure on QuestBridge Scholars or Alumni, and threatens their health, security, or ability to continue attending school.
    • A non-exhaustive list of emergency expenses includes: urgent medical expenses not covered by insurance; eyeglass replacement; hearing aids; transportation for emergency (medical or domestic), transportation to travel to an immediate family member in a dire situation; insurance deductibles; emergency childcare; replacing or replenishing basic necessities due to natural disaster, fire, flood or theft; safety related costs due to domestic violence or natural disaster.” Other FAQs: https://www.questbridge.org/emergency-fund/faq#Q10

College Magister’s Fund/Residential college accessibility funds:

  • Dependent on your college, but here’s the general description:
    • The Residential College Accessibility Funds support the following:
    • Residential College merchandise
    • Rice bookstore paraphernalia (excluding textbooks)
    • Tickets to campus-wide events such as Rondelet, Esperanza, Senior Gala
    • Transportation to college related events
    • Off campus dinners or events
    • Peer-led trips
    • Other items not listed here at the Residential College Accessibility Fund’s discretion

SSI and CCD:

Research/Fellowships:

Work study:

Medical:

Mental Health:

  • wellbeing + counseling - FREE SERVICE
  • Montrose Center (specialize in LGBTQ+ care but anyone is welcome to use their services)
  • https://openpathcollective.org/city/houston/
  • With aetna student health, online psychiatrists and therapists are an option and should be around $20 through MDLive. This won’t work for controlled substances (so some anxiety medication, ADHD meds) but can be helpful for other things

Textbooks

  • Torrent book sites
    • Libgen.is
    • U1lib.org
    • B-ok
    • archive.org
  • Here are some textbooks that Rice uses for classes: Textbooks.

FAQ

Tax Questions (should talk to a tax professional, but here are some student suggestions):)

  • What’s a 1098-T?: a 1098-T is a tax form that the university provides to students who paid the university for tuition and fees that breaks down how to report college related expenses for taxes. If you have a full scholarship (don’t pay anything to Rice for tuition, room, or board), they don’t have to/won’t provide one to you.
  • I didn’t get a 1098-T but have to file taxes. What do I do? You can email the Cashier’s office (cashier@rice.edu) and ask for a breakdown of what would’ve been on the form.
  • Do I have to report my scholarship money on my taxes? (for legal reasons, these are just student suggestions and not official solutions) If you report your scholarship, anything that covers more than tuition and fees, including money for room and board, you may be taxed on. The money that exceeds tuition and fees is considered taxable income. Some students choose to not file taxes, which is an option if you make less than the cut-off requirements for annual income from any jobs you may have had. Some students choose to file taxes and just report their W2s from their jobs and not their scholarships.
  • I wasn’t able to use the IRS data retrieval tool so I have to submit my tax return instead. Where do I submit that?: Emailed financial aid (fina@rice.edu) and they will add a section for you to upload it on Esther
  • Check out the Questbridge finance page! https://www.questbridge.org/resources/finances

General Questions

  • How do I apply for the insurance scholarship?

    Simply take a screenshot of your billing in Esther. Email fina@rice.edu, with the subject as “Allen insurance scholarship Waiver”, and ask ask to apply for the Allen scholarhip with your screenshot attached.

  • Does fin-aid cover parking?

    No

  • Does Rice cover dental?

    No

  • Are summer classes covered?

    No*, but if you have the pell grant you may get everything covered.

  • What about offcampus?

    Questbridge covers dorming, which includes both on-campus or off-campus. All QB students get three years of guaranteed dorming (this might change based on your residential college). Usually if you apply for off-campus, you are given ~7k to pay for renting fees and food. Meaning you might need to consider your rent cost and also meal plan for this budget.

  • When should we expect our rice stipend?

    Usually, the rice stipend is given around the first week of each semester. However, for the fall semester you may need to wait until the end of august.

  • How much is the stipend?

    The stipend is around 2.7k, however, for first semester freshies it is around 2k to over o-week

    Note that this amount may change based on your grants, parking, and insurance

  • What about meal plans?

    If you live on campus you need to get a meal plan, however, if you don’t then it is optional. You can see the plans here: https://dining.rice.edu/meal-plans-and-tetra)

  • How does our aetna insurance work?

    I have sent out a link in #resources explaining a summary of aetna, however, to simplify things. Insurance does not cover dental, and you have to pay a 250 deductible, after that every visit to a doctor is only 25% of the bill

  • What if you don’t have a meal plan while you live off-campus?

    Unfortunately, some people may feel the need to skip a meal plan to budget. In this case, I would highly suggest finding good friends to swipe you for a meal. Every student gets more then enough swipes to spare extra.

    Additionally, there are sometimes donated swipes you can apply for.

  • Does an incomplete affect our gpa / questbridge scholarship?

    Nope. Usually, when a teacher offers this, you can make up the work and as long as you finish the work you will be fine!

  • Can I get more aid then 8 semesters?

    Yes! You need to talk to the OAA office and they will help you out, but yes!

    I got verbal confirmation from the office of financial aid that we are allowed to appeal for more aid even after 8 semester. This is granted you go to the office of academic advising and get a plan approved! This is very cool for people who had a medical leave!

Conclusion

For now, this is all I got, but if you know more please let me know!