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Brown University Admissions

brown university admissions

Get Into Brown University

About Brown University

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 You Get Into Brown University:

ABC helped me streamline my list of schools and my essays. Excellent program.
Boot Camp 2014 student
"On behalf of S, I am pleased to share that she has been accepted to Dartmouth’s class of 2022!  THANK YOU, for all you and your colleagues at Top Tier did to assist S with this accomplishment. Your guidance and counsel is truly invaluable. S is extremely happy and very excited about her future at Dartmouth College! She is both honored and humbled. Top Tier played a big part in her success!" – Application Boot Camp parent, Dartmouth Class of 2022
I feel SO prepared. There is no way I could have received this guidance anywhere else. ABC enabled me to be strategic about my plan going forward. Thank you! - Boot Camp 2014 student
"I was accepted into Brown early decision! I cannot thank you all enough for your guidance and support in my application process! Without question, you are the best in the business! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for everything!" - W.O., Application Boot Camp Student
“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
"The senior counselors were so talented and Mimi and Michele were so accessible!" -ABC Student
"The individual attention I received and the extent of resources was amazing. The Top Tier Admissions team really made an effort to know my story and help me develop great college essays." -C. C., Boot Camp student
"It’s a great relief to have a specific game plan for college applications. There’s so much involved these days, I can’t imagine trying to figure it out on our own. For her to finish her common app and college specific essays with the help of such qualified and professional staff is a huge relief. She has friends that are jealous that she’s done!"-A.W., Boot Camp Parent
"My senior counselor mentor had magical editing skills! He taught me how to be a more descriptive and creative writer. This was a fantastic essay writing camp!" - 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
"Just wanted tell you that I received my acceptance letter to Dartmouth today!! Thank you so much for all of your help this summer - I greatly appreciate it and it obviously paid off! Can't wait to be a 19!" - R.C., 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
"My personalized student report [before Boot Camp] was very useful in motivating me to have an active summer (programs, classes, etc.) and to understand testing needs and ways to create an academic niche. It felt a bit harsh at times, but it was realistic. Boot Camp offered a great editing process." -Boot Camp 2014 student
“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
"My admissions report prior to attending Boot Camp helped me plan exactly what to do senior year along with the phone call with M. & M. to discuss colleges I should choose for applications. -N. N., Boot Camp student
"Boot Camp was efficient, fun, and eliminated stress. Without this experience I never would have thought to write my main essay on my academic interest." -V. P., 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
"Application Boot Camp stands in a category of its own." -S. G., Boot Camp student
"Dear M., M. 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., Application Boot Camp parent
"Understanding what colleges really want to see in my essays was the most challenging thing but definitely the most beneficial part of Boot Camp!" --P.O., Boot Camp student

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