From Rider Raiders to Rice Owls

Three seniors admitted to prestigious Houston university


Seniors Lisa Parmar (left to right), Matthew Bitz and Risha Parmar will be attending Rice University in the fall.

Manasvi Reddy, Editor-In-Chief

Only 421 students across the country were accepted to Rice University via the binding early decision agreement in December. 

Three of those seniors chosen by the prestigious Houston university hail from Rider High School. Twins Lisa and Risha Parmar plus Matthew Bitz are excited about their future college careers as Owls. 

“I was pretty surprised because it (Rice) has a low acceptance rate,” Risha said. “I didn’t think I was going to get in, so I was really surprised that three kids got in.”

The early decision acceptance rate dropped from 18.9 to 16 percent during this application season. This statistic, along with Rider’s relatively low student population compared to larger schools in the Metroplex, makes it even more rare for multiple Rider students to have been accepted early in the admissions process.

Applying early decision is a large commitment for students and colleges, as both are essentially declining the opportunity to receive “better” offers from other applicants or universities later on. For Bitz, choosing to apply early to Rice was a matter of strategy and statistics.

“I had no idea I was going to apply to Rice until October, and Nov. 1 was the deadline,” he said. “I made a list of all of my colleges, and I just applied to the third one early decision because that was the one I was most likely to get in to.”

The Parmars weighed the value of a potential college experience at Rice along with the academic opportunity. Unlike many seniors during the 2020-2021 application season, the twins were fortunate enough to visit Rice’s campus prior to applying early decision.

“I visited there a couple of years ago, and I thought it was pretty,” Lisa said. 

“I wanted to stay in a warmer climate because I don’t really like the cold, and Rice is in Texas,” Risha said. “Also, they offered a really good financial aid package.”

All three students plan to pursue the pre-medical track, although they’ll matriculate with different intended courses of study. Matthew is planning to double major in Biochemistry and Math, while Lisa will study Chemistry and Risha will pursue a degree in Biology.