New Student Checklist

Congratulations on being accepted into the Rice University Matriculating Class of 2021! We are busily preparing for your arrival on campus in August, but there are a number of things that you should be doing to prepare for becoming a new owl.

Below you will find information and links to a variety of forms to be completed and reminders of things to look into before you arrive on campus for O-Week, August 15th- 21st. Pay close attention to deadlines as missing some can prevent you from registering for classes, moving onto campus, or fully engaging in O-Week until they have been addressed. Also, this document will be edited during the summer, so please check back frequently for updated versions as they become available.

March 2021

Please note that some deadlines or checklist items fall on the same date.

March 27 - June 1 Health Data Form Available


ALL new undergraduate students are required to submit a properly completed Health Data Form (HDF) to Student Health. All students under the age of 22 years, regardless of classification, must provide documentation of vaccination against meningococcal disease. Complete tuberculosis screening requirements are also listed on the student Health Data Form.

The 2021 HDF form is now available and can be found here.

Upload your file (You can also mail or fax as per the instructions) - You will need your net ID to do this. Please name your file as your student ID and last name. example S000000001JOHNSON Click here to upload your file.
https://rice.app.box.com/upload-widget/view/9z1qkuemp5hfpb9ngahysuvbatpjj8es/109016068616

Completed forms may also be mailed to the address on the form. Emailed forms will not be accepted.

Please note: Your college assignment will not be given until your meningitis vaccine is complete and you will not be able to register for classes without completing this form! Additionally, you cannot move onto campus for O-Week without verification that you have received the meningococcal vaccination or with proof of a medical exemption. To complete the Health Data Form and Meningitis vaccine form (part of the health data form), visit https://health.rice.edu/new-students/health-data-form

May 2021

Please note that some deadlines or checklist items fall on the same date.

May 10 Due to Rice - NetID and Email Account Set Up

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) offers computing services and support to students and the OIT Help Desk can answer your questions (see below).
Setting up Rice accounts
Your NetID is a combination of your initials and numbers and was emailed to you in a welcome message from OIT. Follow the steps below to set up your NetID and gain access to Rice systems including:
- Google for email, Calendar, Drive and more (https://www.google.com)
- Canvas course management system (https://www.rice.edu/canvas)
- ESTHER system that students use for registration, billing, and other information (https://esther.rice.edu)
- Logging into lab computers
Set up your NetID
Visit https://mynetid.rice.edu, and select Activate Your NetID. You will then be asked to enter your Student ID number to create a NetID password.
Set up two-factor authentication
You must enroll in two-factor authentication using Duo, which provides additional security for access to university data, personal data and some accounts. Duo offers several options for authenticating users: a mobile push notification, one-button verification of identity to a smartphone, as well as voice and SMS verification. Duo will be required when logging in to Esther, using VPN to access university resources from off campus, and to access the Online Account Management System for your NetID. Learn more at: https://kb.rice.edu/82263
Checking your Rice email
After the acceptance process, all official Rice communications will only be sent to your new Rice email address so it is important to set it up and to check your email frequently. You may access your email by logging into Google with your basic Rice email address, netid@rice.edu, and your NetID password. (Learn more about setting up an email alias at https://kb.rice.edu/58397.)
Need help?
Contact the Office of Information Technology's Help Desk (helpdesk@rice.edu, 713-348-4357, http://helpdesk.rice.edu) if you need assistance or see Getting Started with IT (https://kb.rice.edu/103785).

May 10 Due to Rice - Esther Log-in

Please log into Esther and click on the "Welcome to Rice" tab to begin completing your online enrollment forms. You will need your NetID and password.

If you don't remember your password password or need to reset it, please contact the OIT Help Desk at helpdesk@help.rice.edu or call 713-348 4357.

June 2021

Please note that some deadlines or checklist items fall on the same date.

June 1 - June 30 - Online Language Placement Tests Available

Rice's Center for Languages & Intercultural Communication (CLIC) offers courses in 10 languages: Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Before registering for a CLIC language course, you must take a placement test, even if you have no prior experience with that language. The placement test is not required for 300 and 400 level courses in French and German nor for Spanish courses with the SPPO course code.

To access the test, please visit the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication's (CLIC) test site (http://clic.rice.edu/placement-test). Click on the link to access a brief survey about your prior knowledge of the languages we teach. Before starting the survey, make sure that you know your student ID number and your net ID. If you mark that you have no prior knowledge of a specific language, you will be able to register for the first semester course in that language.

If you indicate that you have prior knowledge of any of the languages, you will receive an email with a link to the full placement test in Canvas for those languages. Complete the placement tests in Canvas for the languages you are interested in studying by June 30. The tests are not timed, but do take approximately 30 minutes.

We encourage you to take the placement tests during the summer test period in order to receive your placement results before arriving on campus for O-Week. You will be unable to register for CLIC's language classes without the placement test result. Your placement result will be valid for four years, so take the test now and you will not need to think about it again.

Please contact Heather Lazare with the Center for Languages & Intercultural Communication at CLICPlacement@rice.edu if you have any questions about the placement tests.

June 1 Due to Rice - Health Data Form

ALL new undergraduate students are required to submit a properly completed Health Data Form (HDF) to Student Health. All students under the age of 22 years, regardless of classification, must provide documentation of vaccination against meningococcal disease. Complete tuberculosis screening requirements are also listed on the student Health Data Form.

The 2021 HDF form is now available and can be found here.

Upload your file (You can also mail or fax as per the instructions) - You will need your net ID to do this. Please name your file as your student ID and last name. example S000000001JOHNSON Click here to upload your file.
https://rice.app.box.com/upload-widget/view/9z1qkuemp5hfpb9ngahysuvbatpjj8es/109016068616

Completed forms may also be mailed to the address on the form. Emailed forms will not be accepted.

Please note: Your college assignment will not be given until your meningitis vaccine is complete and you will not be able to register for classes without completing this form! Additionally, you cannot move onto campus for O-Week without verification that you have received the meningococcal vaccination or with proof of a medical exemption. To complete the Health Data Form and Meningitis vaccine form (part of the health data form), visit https://health.rice.edu/new-students/health-data-form

You cannot register for classes without completing this form! Your college assignment will not be given until your meningitis vaccine is complete. You cannot move onto campus for O-Week without verification that you have received the meningococcal vaccination or with proof of a medical exemption. To complete the Health Data Form and Meningitis vaccine form (part of the health data form), visit https://health.rice.edu/new-students/health-data-form .

You can check the status of your holds (VA-Vaccination or ME – Health Data Form) on ESTHER. The VA hold means proof of your meningococcal meningitis vaccination has not been received. The ME means your health form has either not been received or is incomplete. Students will not be able to move onto campus, attend any O-Week activities or register for courses until the health forms are complete. If you will be under 18 when entering Rice, please also fill out the underage consent form.

Send questions to Health Services at hlsv@rice.edu or call 713-348-4966.

June 1 Due to Rice - College Information Form

Please log onto Esther to complete this form.

Send questions to First Year Programs at oweek@rice.edu.

June 1 Due to Rice - Academic Advising Questionnaire

The information gathered in this questionnaire will provide academic advisors with critical information about your academic interests, academic preparedness, and educational goals. Please be thorough as it will enhance our ability to provide the best advice regarding curricular and extracurricular opportunities.

Please log onto Esther to complete this form.

Send questions to the Office of Academic Advising at aadv@rice.edu or call 713-348-4060.

June 1 Due to Rice - New Student Information Form

Please log onto Esther to complete this form. The information that you provide will allow your College to get to know more about you and to make a more informed decision about your rooming for the year. It is important that new students complete this form honestly and completely. This form is only seen by O-Week Coordinators, College Magisters, and key Rice staff.

Send questions to First Year Programs at oweek@rice.edu.

June 1 Due to Rice - Personal Roommate Matching Form

Please log onto Esther to complete this form. The information that you provide will allow your College to get to know more about you and to make a more informed decision about your rooming for the year. It is important that new students complete this form honestly and completely. This form is only seen by O-Week Coordinators, College Magisters, and key Rice staff.

Send questions to First Year Programs at oweek@rice.edu.

June 1 Due to Rice - Parent/Guardian Information Form

Please log onto >a href="https://esther.rice.edu">Esther to complete this form.

Send questions to Dr. Shelah Crear in Student Success Initiatives at screar@rice.edu or call 713-348-4495.

June 1 Due to Rice - First Look Questionnaire

Please log onto Esther to complete this form.

Send questions to Kelley Lash in the Office of Student Media at klash@rice.edu.

June 1 Due to Rice - Disability Housing Accommodation Requests

All requests for housing accommodations, including those requesting rooms without carpet due to allergies, private restrooms due to health issues, etc., must be preapproved by Disability Resource Center. The Preliminary Notification of Disability-Related Needs should be completed online.

Send questions to Disability Resource Center at adarice@rice.edu or call 713-348-5841.

June 2 - 7 - Composition Exam (Round One)

The Composition Exam will be used to determine a new student's placement for the required Freshman Writing Intensive Seminar (FWIS) course. After the exam is evaluated, students will be either be instructed to enroll directly in a FWIS course to meet the graduation requirement in writing and communication; or they will be required to take FWIS 100: Introduction to Academic Writing in the fall semester, and an additional FWIS course in the Spring of 2022.

All new students (including freshmen, transfers, and international students) must take the Composition Exam during one of the two times it is offered. The Composition Exam closes at 1:00 p.m. CDT (UTC-6) on the last day of each round. To take the Composition Exam, visit compexam.rice.edu. For questions, please contact compexam@rice.edu.

June 15 - Lilie New Entrepreneurs Grant Application Deadline

Lilie New Entrepreneurs Grant for Incoming Freshman

All accepted incoming freshmen are invited to apply for a grant offered by the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Lilie). The grant will give one or more exceptional entrepreneurial Rice students the resources to develop and implement an early stage idea while pursuing their undergraduate study.

The grant winner will use the funding to support the design and growth of their project with the support of Lilie-connected faculty, mentors, entrepreneurship courses and programs.

This is your chance to compete for a grant that will launch your entrepreneurial education at Rice. For details on about the program, including application link, please click here.

June 23 - 28 - Composition Exam (Round Two)

The Composition Exam will be used to determine a new student's placement for the required Freshman Writing Intensive Seminar (FWIS) course. After the exam is evaluated, students will be either be instructed to enroll directly in a FWIS course to meet the graduation requirement in writing and communication; or they will be required to take FWIS 100: Introduction to Academic Writing in the fall semester, and an additional FWIS course in the Spring of 2022.

All new students (including freshmen, transfers, and international students) must take the Composition Exam during one of the two times it is offered. The Composition Exam closes at 1:00 p.m. CDT (UTC-6) on the last day of each round. To take the Composition Exam, visit compexam.rice.edu. For questions, please contact compexam@rice.edu.

June 30 - Due to Rice - Request to Withhold or Release Directory Information

Please log onto Esther to complete this form.

Send questions to the Office of the Registrar at registrar@rice.edu or call 713-348-4999.

July 2021

Please note that some deadlines or checklist items fall on the same date.


July 1 - eBills and Account Setup Available Online

Tuition and fees can be found in Esther, under Student Services – Payment Suite. From here, you can review monthly billing statements, set up Electronic Refunds, and established authorized users with Payment Suite access. Additional details can be found here.

July 1 - Prepare for Possible On-Campus Employment

Students must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (or Form I-9) with the Rice Payroll Office prior to the start of work or training. (This is a requirement of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and not of Rice University). Form I-9 is the form required by all U.S. employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of newly hired individuals. Students must bring original, unexpired document(s) to establish identity and employment authorization. Click here for a list of acceptable documents as defined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. For more information regarding student employment opportunities, click here. And, for more information regarding student payroll, click here.

July 1 - Open Enrollment Begins for Student Health Insurance

Every degree-seeking student is required to have health insurance coverage while enrolled at Rice University. Therefore, all students must take action during the open enrollment period to elect to enroll in the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan, OR complete a waiver by demonstrating comparable insurance coverage that meets Rice’s requirements. Please visit http://studenthealthinsurance.rice.edu/home to Enroll or Waive Coverage. All students must take action by August 28th. Please email studentinsurance@rice.edu with any questions.

July 5 - Civic Owlets Registration Deadline

We invite you to sign up for the Center for Civic Leadership’s “Civic Owlets” program, a flexible and remote service-learning opportunity that aims to introduce incoming students to the city of Houston and other members of the Rice community, including upperclassmen, faculty/staff, and each other! The program, conducted entirely online, will cover social issues relevant to the Houston area and enable participants to learn from and work remotely with local organizations that are striving to create positive, sustainable change. Students will be able to connect with incoming peers, begin to build community in their soon-to-be home, and learn about opportunities that will be available to them through the CCL and beyond. More information and sign ups will be available mid-June on the Center for Civic Leadership’s Civic Owlets website (https://ccl.rice.edu/co).

Program Dates:

Session 1: Monday, July 12 - Friday, July 16

Session 2: Monday, July 26 - Friday, July 30

Questions may be directed to Chasmine Anderson (cda7@rice.edu)

July 8 - College Assignment Mailed

Your College Magisters will provide official notification of your College assignment. These notifications are sent via e-mail and cannot be provided over the phone. We ask that you please be patient as it may take some time for your assignment to reach you especially if you live out of state or internationally. Note: If you do not complete your Health Data Form (including the Meningococcal Meningitis vaccination) by June 1st, you WILL NOT receive your College assignment. You can check the status of your VA-Vaccination Hold on Esther. Questions concerning the Health Data Form should be directed to Health Services at hlsv@rice.edu or 713-348-4966. To complete the Health Data Form, visit health.rice.edu/new-students/health-data-form Any other questions concerning college assignments should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates at ugdean@rice.edu or call 713-348-4997. Again, please do not call or email to find out your assignment.

July 8 - Lilie Change Maker Summit Application Deadline

Join the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Lilie) for the re-imagined Change Maker Summit this July. Meet your impact-minded family: make new friends who share your excitement for solving problems and meet faculty and partners who want to support you throughout your Rice journey. Dive into the excitement of entrepreneurship, innovation, and human-centered design. These virtual jam sessions packed with learning, team activities, and design challenges, and will connect you to new friends well before you start on campus this fall.

Website & Application URL: https://entrepreneurship.rice.edu/change-maker-summit

July 15 - Due To Rice - Notification of Mental Health Concerns

The Wellbeing and Counseling Center is an excellent resource on campus for all Rice students. If you have mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, or any other condition for which you've been diagnosed or treated, you may fill out the Mental Health Notification Form and contact us at (713) 348-3311 to discuss options for continued care and connecting to resources on campus or in the Houston area. There are also many resources available for you, so we encourage you to visit the Resource Page on our website for more information.

If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Wellbeing and Counseling Center at (713) 348-3311.

July 15 - O-Week Information & Roommate Assignments Mailed

O-Week Information & Roommate Assignments Mailed You will receive formal notification of your roommate(s) assignment and more information about O-Week at Rice and at your college. These items are distributed via U.S. Mail, and we ask that you please be patient as it may take some time for yours to reach you especially if you live out of state or internationally. To complete the Health Data Form, visit health.rice.edu/new-students/health-data-form Note: If you do not submit proof that you have received the Meningococcal Meningitis vaccination or provide documentation of an exemption, you WILL NOT receive your College O-Week book or roommate(s) assignment. You can check the status of your VA-Vaccination Hold on Esther.

Questions concerning the Health Data Form should be directed to Health Services at hlsv@rice.edu or 713-348-4966. Send questions to your College's O-Week Coordinators or O-Week Staff at oweek@rice.edu.

July 29 - Deadline to Register for Residence Hall Linens

First Year Programs has partnered with Residence Hall Linens to provide students with affordable and accessible essentials for their room. Since other groups are on campus during the summer, you are not able to have your items shipped to Rice. First Year Programs may be able to make special accommodations for shipping if you are living abroad. Please contact Residence Hall Linens at 1-800-957-4338 for questions about your order.

Contact First Year Programs at oweek@rice.edu to discuss international shipping accommodations.

July 30 - Due to Rice - Housing Agreement

Please log onto Esther to submit this form. Note: If you do not complete your Health Data Form (including the Meningococcal Meningitis vaccination), you WILL NOT receive your College assignment. You can check the status of your VA-Vaccination Hold on Esther.

Questions concerning the Health Data Form should be directed to Health Services at hlsv@rice.edu or 713-348-4966. Send questions to Housing and Dining at dm7@rice.edu or call 713-348-8048.

August 2021

Please note that some deadlines or checklist items fall on the same date.

August 1 - Due to Rice - Honor Code Confirmation Module

The Rice University Honor System provides the foundation for Rice’s academic expectations of students. It embodies the relationship of trust and commitment between students and faculty. In order to ensure that all students understand the Honor System, the Honor Council will provide online learning modules, as well as a mandatory online exam. These can be accessed through the Honor Council Info page on the Matriculating Class of 2018 Rice Canvas page, starting in early July.

August 10 - Due to Rice - Athletics Interest Survey

You will receive an email to your Rice email in July with information about completing this survey. If you have any questions related to our athletic programs please contact Stacy Mosely at mosely@rice.edu. All other questions can be sent to oweek@rice.edu.

August 10 - Deadline to Register for Rice Bands

To join The MOB (Marching Owl Band) as a musician, show assistant, or script writer, please go to bands.rice.edu and fill out the form there. A current (student) member of the team or musical section will be in contact. There will be opportunities to join during O-Week, as well. Please do not worry about having to audition. If you have a desire to entertain, or have an interest in writing for the field shows (comedy/satire), please submit the form and give it whirl. If you are interested in Rice Symphonic Band or Rice Jazz Band, please email Chuck Throckmorton, Director of Bands, at cthrock@rice.edu. Contact the Rice Bands Program at 713-348-2346 if you have questions. http://bands.rice.edu/

August 13 - Due to Rice - Alcohol Education Module

In mid July, the Student Wellbeing Office at Rice will email you log in information for AlcoholEdu® an Alcohol Education Module that provides awareness training, alcohol abuse prevention, and safe drinking tips for college students. We encourage you to think about what it means to make healthy choices, including those related to alcohol consumption. It is important that you complete this module honestly and completely for conversations during O-Week and throughout your time at Rice.

If you have any questions or concerns about your survey results, please contact the Student Wellbeing Office at wellbeing@rice.edu. We look forward to your arrival in August!

August 13 - Due to Rice - Complete Your OwlNest Profile

OwlNest (OwlNest.rice.edu) is Rice’s student engagement platform, where you can discover organizations and events that match your interests, and track your activities outside of the classroom through a personalized involvement resume. With over 300 clubs across eleven different genres, is it easier than ever to find community on campus by exploring student clubs, departments and events through OwlNest!

How Can I Get Connected as a New Student?

  • Log into OwlNest with your NetID and password
  • Upload a profile picture and review your privacy settings before getting started
  • Watch our teaser video to learn how to access your event pass, look-up events on OwlNest and use the CORQ app to keep track of events
  • Navigate to the Organization page and explore student clubs you may want to join
  • You can send a message to the club or request to become a member directly through the club’s OwlNest page!
  • Navigate to the OwlNest Events page and RSVP to events you would like to attend
  • Follow @RiceOwlNest on Instagram to learn more about our amazing clubs!

If you are not sure where to begin, fill out an OwlNest Consultation Request Form to meet with one of our OwlNest Student Engagement Consultants or email owlnest@rice.edu. We also have a variety of training videos available to help you maximize your OwlNest experience.

If you don’t find a club that matches your interests, you can also create a new club by following the steps to complete club registration through the Student Activities Office. If you have questions about this process, please email clubregistration@rice.edu.

August 15 - 21 - O-Week 2021

All new students (freshmen, transfers, and international) must attend all of O-Week. Visit our O-Week Schedule section for a listing of events from previous O-Weeks. The schedule will be updated over the summer with information for O-Week 2021.

Note: If you do not complete your Health Data Form (including the Meningococcal Meningitis vaccination), you WILL NOT be able to live on campus for O-Week or during the 10-day waiting period after the vaccination. You can check the status of your VA-Vaccination Hold on Esther. Questions concerning the Health Data Form should be directed to Health Services at hlsv@rice.edu or 713-348-4966. To complete the Health Data Form, visit health.rice.edu/new-students/health-data-form

Send questions to your O-Week Coordinators or to O-Week Staff at oweek@rice.edu.

August 20 - Deadline to Register for Parking

All students who want to have a permit to park on campus must register with the Parking Office. Please log onto Esther to submit this registration as early as July 1st each year. Remember to print out the Temporary Permit and display it on the vehicle’s dashboard until receiving the sticker permit. Permits will be mailed to the students’ Colleges starting on Thursday, August 12th. Until then the Parking Office will hold on to permits purchased and they can be picked up in the Parking Registration Office (Central Garage, Level B1, M-F, 7 a.m.- 5 p.m.). Permits are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Parking spaces are limited, so it’s encouraged to register on July 1st or soon after.

Send questions to the Parking Office at parking@rice.edu or call 713-348-7275.

August 23 - Classes Begin

You will register for classes on the Friday of O-Week. Be sure to spend some time over the weekend before classes to find where the buildings and classrooms are located so you know where to go on the first day. Some students also use the first few days of classes to work out what their final schedule might be based on workload and more. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the necessary deadlines for adding and dropping classes which can be found on the Academic Calendars online.

August 27 - Open Enrollment Deadline - Student Health Insurance

Student Health Insurance All students must enroll or waive the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan by August 27th. Any student that does not take action to enroll in coverage or submit a waiver by the deadline, will be auto-enrolled in annual coverage and will be responsible for paying the full premium. Once you are enrolled, the plan cannot be cancelled for any reason.

Please note the automatic enrollment process does require additional processing time. You may have to pay out of pocket for medical services until your enrollment has been processed. Once processed, you will be able to file a claim for reimbursement. To avoid this inconvenience, please submit your enrollment application as early as possible. The coverage will not be prorated and the effective date will be retroactive to 08/01/21. Please visit https://studenthealthinsurance.rice.edu to take action or for more information regarding the student insurance plan.

September 2021

Please note that some deadlines or checklist items fall on the same date.

September 1 - Register for Owl Together 2021! - Families Weekend

Owl Together 2021 is a virtual celebration combining Families Weekend and Homecoming & Reunion. This event highlights the breadth, depth and creativity of our global Rice community, and will be held the last week in October. Please visit https://owltogether.rice.edu/ for additional details leading up to the weekend. For questions regarding family programming during Owl Together, please contact owltogether@rice.edu or 713-348-6094.

September 10 - Due to Rice - Fall 2021 Tuition and Fees Payment

Monthly billing statements are emailed to the student’s Rice email address and any authorized users that have been given access to the Payment Suite. To view your billing statement online:

Log into ESTHER. Select "Student Services & Account Information".

If you have any questions, please email the Cashier's Office at cashier@rice.edu.

  • Click on the "Payment Suite" button located under Account Summary - Pay My Bill - Bill Payment Suite.
  • Navigate to “My Account”, then select “Statements”.

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