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Brown University Admissions

brown university admissions

Get Into Brown

About Brown

Brown University is part of the Ivy League and was founded in 1764, 128 years after Harvard and two years before Dartmouth came to be.  Brown, located in Providence, Rhode Island, was the first college in the United States to accept students regardless of their religion.

The campus is beautifully set in a federally listed architectural district where students are living among Colonial-era buildings and a charming group of restored seventeenth- and eighteenth-century architecture while also having access to downtown Providence with all the coffee shops and great restaurants imaginable.  Brown has been forward thinking about sustainability for years, with active student groups around this issue on campus.

Brown is ranked #14 on the U.S. News and World Report Best College rankings guide.  There are about 6,400 undergraduates at the College of Brown University, 12% are international students. 

Brown’s student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1 and 100% of the faculty teach undergraduates. 69% of Brown’s undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students. There are about 79 majors available, called “concentrations” at Brown, and if students don’t find something to their liking, they can design a concentration. About 80% of Brown graduates pursue graduate school. 

Brown has two coveted undergraduate-level dual programs:

1.) Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program: This is a collaboration between Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University.  It’s incredibly competitive with a 2 or 3% acceptance rate and only 15-22 students typically accepted from a pool of over 700 applicants.  It’s unique because students may combine disciplines such as philosophy with biology or art history with art and design or even math with architecture.  Brown offers majors or concentrations in the physical and biological sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and the humanities. RISD offers specialized education in all categories of visual media, architecture, and design.

The program is five years in length. Students may receive a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree or, a Bachelor of Science (Sc.B.) from Brown and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree from RISD.  Prospective students have to be accepted to both institutions and then be approved by a separate Brown/RISD Dual Degree admissions committee.

And 2.) Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME): This too is a coveted program with about a 3-4% acceptance rate.  This makes these two programs more difficult than Harvard or Stanford in terms of acceptance.  Typically 90-95 students annually are admitted to PLME. This is an eight-year program leading to both a bachelor’s degree and an M.D. degree from Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School.

Applying to Brown

Brown typically accepts about 8-9% of applicants.  If you are interested in Brown and hope to attend, you first want to make sure that you are in the top 10% of your high school class as 97% of accepted freshmen this year held that status. If you are not in the top 10% of your high school class and don’t have a hook of some sort (athletic recruit, legacy, underrepresented minority, parent on the Board) then we’d suggest you rethink your plans if you are a senior.  If you are younger, then focus on your grades above all else!  47% of students identified as “students of color.” This can be misleading however.  Indian and Asian applicants are not considered underrepresented minorities, but they are considered students of color.

Brown offers Early Decision (apply by Nov. 1 and hear back in mid-December) and Regular Decision (apply by Jan. 1 and hear back by late March) rounds of admission. If you choose to apply to Brown under Early Decision, you cannot submit an application to another institution under another Early Decision plan, or a single-choice Early Action plan. If you are admitted under Brown’s Early Decision option, you are required (by Brown) to withdraw all pending applications, including those you may have already submitted to Regular, Rolling, or Early Action programs.

Brown offers an option for alumni interviews conducted by alumni volunteers. After you have submitted your application to Brown, one of them will contact you directly to set up the interview. Early Decision interviews are completed by early-December and Regular Decision interviews are completed by mid-February.

Admissions Wrap Up for Brown University:

Brown made 2,027 offers of admission (out of 29,554 applications received) to the Class of 2021 in the regular round representing an almost 6.9% acceptance rate. Admitted students for the Class of 2021 include these 2,027 students from Brown’s regular decision pool combined with the 695 students offered admission in the early decision program, for a total of 2,722 admitted students. This represents 8.3% of the 32,724 students who applied, the largest applicant pool in the University’s history. Students have been admitted from all 50 states and from 77 countries. Brown accepted 22% of its early decision applicants to the Class of 2021, offering spots to 695 students out of 3,170 applications — the largest number of students ever admitted early decision. Brown accepted 22% of early applicants to the Class of 2020, 20% to the Class of 2019 and 18.9% to the Class of 2018. 

Here are some Common Application main essay first few lines from accepted Brown applications:

  1. Heading to the post-impressionist gallery at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last summer, an unfamiliar image stopped me in my tracks.
  2. I was running low on water, my back ached and I was losing feeling in my legs, but I rallied myself for the 10th consecutive hour of Orange is the New Black, Season 3.
  3. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the one who asked the tough questions.

Top Tier Admissions Can Help:

“We would like to personally thank you for your help in preparing P. and S. in the college admissions process. Boot Camp provided invaluable guidance. Those four days were a very productive and extremely worthwhile time. We are thrilled they are starting senior year stress-free in terms of the college application process. Finally, thank you a ton for helping them both from the very beginning and we feel extremely fortunate to have worked with you.” –A.R., Parents of two Application Boot Camp Students
“I am amazed at how much S. got done this week AND he was even smiling when we left!” –P.N., Parent of Application Boot Camp Student
“What a duo you are! Thanks again for your support, patience, and understanding this past week. C. is confident and rejuvenated but realistic. He will consider all that you have said when reaching his strategic decisions.” –T.A., Parent of Application Boot Camp Student
“My wife just texted me that R’s essays are fantastic! Thank you for all the great advice.” –A.F., parent of Application Boot Camp Student
“I just wanted to say thank you for all of your help before and during Bootcamp. The experience was amazing and I learned so much, while also getting so much done.” –A.I., Application Boot Camp Student
“Thank you so much for all the team’s help at Application Bootcamp! With your help, I was able to produce an application strategy and multiple essays that I am very confident about." –C.Z., Application Boot Camp Student
"M. and M., your insight and advice about the application process is invaluable. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with you! K., thank you so much for helping me construct an application strategy and work through the common app. I greatly appreciate your straightforward advice." –E.K., Application Boot Camp Student
"Ultimately, Bootcamp, although grueling at times, was an incredible experience, and it was only made possible by all your efforts. Thank you for everything, and I will be sure to update you in the coming months!” –F.J., Application Boot Camp Student
“Thank you SO much for all you and your staff did to support P. this week. She is thrilled with the work she has accomplished!” –L.J., parent of Application Boot Camp student
“Thank you!! We are thrilled that C. got into his dream school!! He is super excited! We feel that his thoughtful application and essays put him above other competitive applicants. I can't thank you all enough. Kudos to all of you! Senior counselors, especially, were amazing. C. really enjoyed working with his mentor.” –S.P., parent of Application Boot Camp student
"M., you changed my life in ways I had no idea when we met all those years ago when I was a scared sophomore at my big public high school.  You got me to expand my vision and think outside the box with my interests and, honestly, now that I'm wrapping up my PhD at Harvard, I have to say I still use some of what you taught me about presenting myself and standing out.  Tell your students I'm living proof that getting into Harvard for undergrad and graduate school IS possible." --P.L., Application Boot Camp student
“I just want to thank you guys so much for your help and guidance! I really couldn't have done it without you!” –Y.T., Application Boot Camp student
“You and your entire team are awesome! You were invaluable in helping P get on the right path! Great news today! P was accepted at Yale, Penn, Villanova, Wesleyan, Williams, Tulane, and the University of Virginia. Thank you for all you do to help these kids achieve their dreams! She is over the moon and will choose in short order! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!” --L.D., Application Boot Camp parent
“Thank you for everything! This hectic college application process was almost easy with your help. I really appreciate it. I feel like your suggestions and editing pushed me above other similar applicants. Cumulatively, I currently have the highest ranked college acceptances out of my whole school.” --A.G., Application Boot Camp student
"P. continues to thrive at Brown. She loves her classes, professors, and friends as well as her internship, teaching assistant and research opportunities. She feels very fortunate to be there and strives to take advantage of all that Brown has to offer. We are fortunate to have found you!" --E.V., Application Boot Camp parent
"I truly believe ABC made a dramatic difference in T's application/outcomes (and will continue to do so as the season unfolds). We were all shocked to learn on Saturday that not only had Tulane accepted him, but were offering almost full tuition, unsolicited, in merit aid with a four year guarantee. Just wanted to say "thanks" and holy cow. You guys really enabled him to put his best foot forward. Thanks again for all you guys did to help him through a confusing, challenging process for teens!" --W.P., Application Boot Camp parent
“Thank you so much for your advice and help over the past couple of months. I am grateful that I could finish everything in such a short amount of time. My application would not be so polished without your editing and notes! I really appreciate all of your counsel.” --P.N., Application Boot Camp student
"I am writing to thank everyone at ABC for all the help with my essays and the Common Application. I really benefited from these past 4 days in Boston and I would be happy to recommend ABC to anyone that asks." --R.L. Application Boot Camp student
“At the start of this week I was petrified at the thought of college essays and differentiating myself from high school seniors across the nation. Thank you so much for streamlining this process and fine tuning my essays to perfection. I would not be able to keep on track without you! Thanks again!!” --R.Q., Application Boot Camp student
"I saw your Ad in the Penn Gazette and thought about you with great fondness. It's been almost eight years since our daughter, K.G, worked with you. We came to your Boot Camp sessions in New York with hopes for direction and guidance and we certainly did get it.  K.G. graduated from U Penn and went on to do a Master's in Economics at London School of Economics. She now has an amazing job and is pursuing another Master's at Johns Hopkins University. Because of what we learned from you, we were able to  help, our younger son also got into U Penn and he is now working in Washington DC. "--B.C., Application Boot Camp parent

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