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Rice University’s Board of Trustees has approved a plan to enlarge its undergraduate student body by 20 percent to 4,800 by the fall of 2025. Historically, Rice has been among the smaller of the top research universities in the country.

The university will open a 12th residential college and expand the number of students living on campus by about one-third, to 3,525.

“Rice’s extraordinary applicant pool has grown dramatically despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” President David Leebron said. “With the previous expansion we greatly increased our national and international student applications, enrollment and visibility. We also dramatically increased diversity on our campus, and we were able to extend the benefits of a Rice education to many more students. As before, we must undertake this expansion carefully in order to assure that we retain the best aspects of Rice culture, student experience and sense of community.”