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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:

"It is SO nice to be able to get basically everything done in a couple of days! It makes the process a lot less stressful and made me feel really confident about my applications." - Application Boot Camp student
"M., 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
I finally know how to write a college essay. The one on one time with my senior counselor mentor made a big difference. - I.K., Boot Camp student
Boot Camp 2014 student
"M. and M.--I’m happy (and proud) to relay the good news! P. got accepted to University of Virginia! We are over the moon! Thank you and your team for your support and patience throughout the process." --C.D., Application Boot Camp parent
"I can't believe the quality of instruction and work I produced at Boot Camp. My brother will be there in 2 years due to my positive experiences." - Application Boot Camp student
"Thank you Top Tier Admissions for supporting me. My high school advisor also thanks you."-- C.J., Boot Camp Student
"Boot Camp gave my essays life! Thank you for your advice!" - Application Boot Camp student
"A very productive and informative 4 days!" - Application Boot Camp student
"I just wanted to thank you for your help over Application Boot Camp. If it wasn't for your positive energy throughout the process, I don't know how much I would've been able to complete! Good luck with your other camps and once again, thanks." -T.R., Boot Camp student
"The low student to senior counselor ratio meant that I had never-ending support and now I can focus on my grades and extra-curriculars during senior year." -A. D. , Boot Camp student
“I believe the essay that you helped me craft was a major deciding factor in my admissions process and I am infinitely grateful. I believe Boot Camp also helped me to grow as a writer.” --S.W., Boot Camp student
"The quick feedback on essays and writing style was key!" - Application Boot Camp student
"ABC aids and quickens the application process. Mimi and Michele's advice on my application strategy was great --they kept my goals realistic." - Application Boot Camp student
"My daughter can't stop talking about all of the things she learned and how helpful the camp was. Thank you very much!" -O.P., Boot Camp parent
"You ran an amazing, inspiring, productive and invaluable program. Thanks." - C.W., Application Boot Camp parent
"P was accepted to Stanford (REA) last Friday! She attended ABC this summer as you know and couldn’t have done it without your team. Thank you so much for all your help. I have already referred my brother who has a 10th grader. Thanks again!" – Application Boot Camp parent, Stanford Class of 2022
"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
"M.--Can't thank you enough! We got a chance to personally thank M. 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., Boot Camp parent
"Michele is the BEST editor! Thanks for a great week! It is so great to have editing help and get most of my essay done." - Application Boot Camp student
Dear Mimi, Michele, Kristen, Hannah, and the rest of the ABC team, Thank you so much for an incredible four days at Boot Camp. Thank you for sitting and brainstorming with me, for helping me come up with a realistic application plan, for reading my essays over and over again until I thought they were perfect, and, most of all, for helping me come out with five essays that I am proud of and I know will help me in the application process. Your help was amazing, and I don't know what I would have done without it. - E.C.

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