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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:

“I just want to thank you guys so much for your help and guidance! I really couldn't have done it without you!” –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!” --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.” --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. Parent of Application Boot Camp student
"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. Parent of Application Boot Camp student
“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 write 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., parent of Boot Camp student
"To the entire staff of Application Boot Camp: A HUGE thank you for helping me navigate through the entire college process. The incredible support and encouragement from everyone there enabled me write insightful essays for the various colleges that I was applying to. I came back from Boot Camp every day feeling confident in myself and my ability to effectively communicate my ideas and thoughts into my essays and most of all, my entire application. I am so happy to say that I will be attending the University of Chicago this fall!!" --J.W. Application Boot Camp student
"I will be attending The Johns Hopkins University this fall!! . . . It was one of my top choices, and I cannot explain how ecstatic I am to join JHU!! Once again, thank you so much for your help. I do not think I could've done it without your guidance. I feel like I have found the perfect school for me." --U.R. Application Boot Camp student
“The amazing support from your entire staff allowed me to write essays that I was extremely proud of. The advice along the way on how best to showcase my strengths and match that to an overall strategy of where and how to apply was invaluable!” --E.A., Boot Camp student
"Dear Mimi, Michele and your wonderful team, we are very happy to let you know that O. was accepted at Georgetown!!!! His “dream university." Thank you very much for all your help. We really appreciate it very much! You can imagine how proud we feel!." --P.Y., parent of Boot Camp student
“I got a lot done at Boot Camp and I came back very relieved, while all my friends were very stressed out trying to finish all their applications.” --F.N., Boot Camp student
"You helped with all aspects of the application process. I came home confident and with a clear plan of what I was going to do! Can't thank you enough!" --Y.T., Boot Camp student
"Boot Camp helped me become realistic on my options but still supplied me with confidence about my applications." --E.W., Boot Camp student headed to Brown
"My number one choice was UVA and I was accepted regular admission!" --R.E., Boot Camp student
"We wanted to reach out to you and send a heartfelt thanks for guiding us through the college admissions process this past year.  Your direction was incredibly helpful! R. was admitted to Tufts Early Decision!!!  He is grateful for every minute you and your team spent with him and acknowledges the significant competitive edge gained by your insight and experience." --Y.W., parent of Application Boot Camp student
"Mimi--Can't thank you enough! We got a chance to personally thank Michele afterward, but I wanted to reach out to you as well! You have a special knack for building young people up! At first R. hesitated to sign up for Boot Camp because she felt she couldn't "hang" with the Ivy League hopefuls, but she left with a renewed swagger!" --U.E., parent of Boot Camp student
"Mimi, your advice and guidance throughout this entire process has been essential, for which my family and I are very grateful." --D.C., Boot Camp student, accepted to UPenn and Columbia

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